What to do with the female college student who cried “wolf” or in this case cried “kidnap (me)” and caused alarm not only among family and friends but also netizens who got wind of her situation and prayed for her safety?
Nothing really other than perhaps what Cebu City Councilor Dave Tumulak suggested, which is for the family to bring her to counseling and to the church where she can be prayed over and told to reconsider her ways lest nobody believes if God forbid she does get kidnapped and then calls out for help.
What made her case particularly weird when it was initially reported was that she managed to contact her family through Facebook Messenger despite her claim that she was kidnapped by foreigners and brought to a mountain barangay where Wi-Fi connectivity would have been iffy at best.
But the most telling evidence came in the lab exam when it was shown that she had no bruises or marks that proved her claim that she was tied up with a USB cord charger by her supposed kidnappers.
And she resorted to this little stunt of hers after being told by a college dean that she had to refund the P4,000 in cash proceeds from the sale of books that she reportedly lost in one of the school’s locker rooms.
The distress may have caused her to freak out and resort to her “kidnap” stunt and were it not for the police dragnet and the attention it drew from both mainstream and social media, she would have gotten away with it.
What’s worse, she may be tempted to resort to making false ransom demands and extort money from those willing to pay for it so she could be “freed.”
But apparently the female college student isn’t smart enough nor had the resources and cooperation of others to pull it off. What is worse is if she was allowed to go on and make fools not only of her own family and friends, but the police and the public.
In discussing the student’s case, Councilor Tumulak mentioned the “48 Hour Missing Challenge” that spawned on Facebook last year in which the participants, particularly children, went missing for 48 hours or two days in the hopes of securing mentions or posts of their disappearance from families and friends during that period.
This was believed by many netizens to be the case of Ica Policarpio, the 17-year-old girl who was reported missing by her parents on social media last December 21 in Muntinlupa and was found three days later.
Policarpio’s parents asked for privacy from the public the minute she was found and amid the outpouring of sympathy for them during their very public plight, questions arose over her discovery.
We hope that stakeholders will find ways to curb and discourage teenagers and others into resorting to these “kidnap” stunts to avoid causing a ruckus and distress among their families and friends.
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