CEBU — Several Central Visayas police chiefs have denied reports of alleged kidnapping incidents circulating on social media.
In Cordova town in Cebu, Maj. Michael Gingoyon belied messages spreading online that a student from Cordova National High School had been abducted. “For me, we urge the public not to believe right away and should not spread reports if they are not validated by us,” he said.
Over in Bohol, Provincial Director Col. Osmundo Salibo also issued a statement denying allegations of kidnapping in the town of Ubay after the spread of social media posts.
“Based on our investigation, there is no truth and basis to this,” Salibo said in Cebuano.
The regional police's Anti-Kidnapping Group also downplayed the allegations, urging supposed victims to file a complaint or report of such incidents to their respective offices.
“Officially, we have not received an official report or complaint that they were even attempted to be kidnapped. If you are one, please surface so we can take proper action,” the group's leader Lt. Zozimo Ravanes Jr. said.
Ravanes also noted that those who spread false, alarming information may be held responsible.
Similar posts of alleged kidnapping have also been spreading online in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental, prompting local authorities there to look into and verify the claims.
In a press conference Tuesday, Dumaguete PNP chief Lt. Col. Joeson Parallag said he has tasked a special unit under his command to investigate the alleged kidnapping incidents further.
This was after several netizens claimed to have almost been abducted in some of the city's public spaces.
While they are not discounting the possibility that the claims may be true, Parallag urged supposed victims to come forward and personally report the incidents to authorities instead of posting on social media.
"The police [are] ready to receive your complaints, and more importantly, for us to record them in our blotter," he told reporters.
—Reports from Annie Perez and Raffy Cabristante, ABS-CBN News
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