PNP warns public vs spreading fake news on abductions

Third Anne Peralta-Malonzo

THE Philippine National Police (PNP) on Monday, December 2, warned the public against spreading on social media unconfirmed reports about missing or abducted persons.

PNP spokesperson Brigadier General Bernard Banac said these are fake news.

“Tungkol doon sa mga kumakalat sa social media na diumano may mga abduction ng mga kabataan nais po natin pabulaanan ang mga kumakalat na fake news na ito at wala pa pong basehan at hindi ito validated subalit kung anumang insidente na may nangyari nanawagan tayo sa lahat ng mga concerned biktima o pamilya ng mga biktma na dumulog kaagad sa pinakamalapit ng police station natin upang maimbestigahan at huwag pong i-upload kaagad. Huwag ipagkalat kung hindi naireport pa sa ating police station para magkaroon ng basis ang ating mga pulis at ma-validate ang information,” Banac said in a press conference.

“Kapag ito ang ginawa natin maaari din po tayo managot dahil may mga batas tayong umiiral para sa mga pinapakalat na mga disinformation or misinformation,” he added.

Banac made the statement following reports alleging that several individuals, including children, have been abducted by men in a white van.

Several social media posts supposedly to warn the parents about these incidents are being circulated. Based on the posts, the men are abducting children to harvest their internal organs and sell these.

In Pasay City, Banac said nine people from ages 19 to 23, were recorded to have suddenly disappeared.

However, he said only one of the nine incidents was validated based on a CCTV footage which captured the incident.

“May mga report na mga missing person, pero walang validated na kidnapping, baka po mga naglayas o kaya ay nagtanan, maliban lang sa isang kaso kung saan nakuhanan ng CCTV ang ginawang pagdukot,” said Banac.

Banac said National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief Police Brigadier General Debold Sinas has already ordered an investigation on the alleged abduction.

Banac warned those spreading fake news that will cause fear will be charged once they are identified by the PNP Anti-Cybercrime Group (ACG).

“Meron tayong cyber patrol na tinatawag. Ang cyber patrol ng ating ACG ang syang gumagawa ng monitoring ng lahat ng nangyayari, communications sa social media at itong mga kumakalat na information ay tinitingnan ng cyber patrol natin yan, tinutukoy nila kung saan nanggagaling, ano ‘yung background at kakailanganin natin yun kung sakali man magiging ebidensya kung tayo ay magsasampa ng reklamo sa mga individual na pagkakalat ng mga nito,” said Banac.

“Maaaring makasuhan sya sa anti-cybercrime act natin ng pagkakalat ng mga maling information at yun ang paalala sa lahat, Huwag po agad magpasa-pasa ng information na hindi naman nanggaling sa ating otoridad. ‘Yung WCPC natin ay kabilang din sa mga nag-iimbestiga dahil involvved dito ‘yung mga minors,” he added. (SunStar Philippines)