Public urged: Don’t post unverified ‘kidnapping’ reports online
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Talisay police are calling on the public not to post unverified reports online about alleged attempted kidnapping incidents in the city as this may cause panic here.
Police Lieutenant Colonel Randy Caballes, chief of Talisay City Police Station, made this call after Mayor Gerald “Samsam” Gullas ordered the police to verify the alleged attempted kidnapping incidents in Barangays Biasong and Cansojong in the city.
Caballes said that they were already checking the veracity of the reports.
Reports of alleged attempted kidnapping incidents in the city caused a stir online after two individuals posted it on their respective Facebook accounts on Thursday, August 25.
Report to police, don’t post it online
Caballes said that they were discouraging the public from posting unverified reports online, and that they should inform the police about these reports instead.
He said this was because police could verify and take appropriate action on these reports.
He said that posting these unverified reports would only cause unwarranted panic to the public especially if these reports would later be proven to be false.
With this situation, Caballes said that they were looking into what possible liabilities they could impose on those who would post online unverified reports especially of alleged kidnapping incidents in the city.
In an interview, Talisay City Mayor Gullas has directed policemen to verify the reports and information that he received about these incidents, which had caused alarm in the city.
Gullas further encouraged everyone to report these unverified reports immediately to the police so that they would be acted upon accordingly.
He said that he had already requested the city police to deploy personnel, especially to nearby schools, particularly those that offer night classes for high school students, such as in Barangay San Isidro.
Caballes, for his part, said that they still continued to investigate the alleged incidents, and that he could still not assess yet whether these were cases of attempted kidnapping.
Police had already met the minor, who was allegedly the victim of the alleged attempted kidnapping in Barangay Biasong.
The minor told police that she made a stop on her way home from school and then as she headed home after that, a van allegedly stopped near her.
The driver allegedly got off the vehicle, approached her, asked if she was headed home and offered her a ride home.
She refused and the driver left her alone. The minor got safely home.
As of now, Talisay investigators interviewed at least five individuals, who were there in the area during the incident.
Caballes said that they also had yet to recover footage of security cameras in the nearby area.
Initially, Caballes said that a witness saw that the driver disembarked from the vehicle to pee and later ate ‘balut’.
In Barangay Cansojong, Caballes said that they already invited the person who posted in her Facebook account about this incident.
“Initial information, nagsakay siya og motor, naa siyay naagian nga naay babaye nga nisyagit. But not sure if it is a case of kidnapping or naa lay kaaway ang babaye, but gipost dayun nga naay kidnapping,” Caballes said.
(Initial investigation showed that the person, who was on a motorcycle, passed by a woman who was screaming. But he was not sure if it was a case of kidnapping or the woman had just some quarrel with somebody, but she posted it online that there was a kidnapping that happened.)
Caballes further assured the public that police, in coordination with all the force multipliers, would conduct patrolling at daytime and nighttime to ensure peace and order there.
Aside from that, some policemen were also deployed to nearby schools to assist students in case of emergencies.
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