MANILA — Alleged abductions of several youngsters in Pasay are "isolated cases", Sen. Ronald Dela Rosa said Monday, as he sought to douse public fear over the incidents.
The 8 men and one woman aged 18 to 23 allegedly went missing November 20 and 22, the police said, quoting the youngster's relatives, some of whom reported the incident on social media.
The youngsters are friends and police are pursuing a theory on their disappearance, said Dela Rosa, adding that he cannot disclose more information he received from Philippine National Police officer-in-charge Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa.
“Huwag silang matakot d'yan. Mga isolated cases 'yan. Merong apparently merong commonality sa mga pangyayari na 'yan,” said Dela Rosa, a former chief of the PNP.
(They shouldn't be afraid of that. Those are isolated cases. There is apparently a commonality in these incidents.)
The Senate public order committee, which Dela Rosa chairs, will wait for the PNP's action before summoning its leaders over the incident, he said.
Politicians should leave the matter to the PNP, said Senate President Vicente Sotto II.
“I’m sure they know what to do. PNP does not need prodding from politicians and armchair critics,” he said in a text message.
Sen. Imee Marcos, meanwhile, said the PNP should give a more direct statement on the issue and boost the deployment of officers.
“Sabihin man na fake news ito o hindi, kailangang umaksyon ang gobyerno rito dahil maraming ang natatakot na mga kabataan, mga magulang at bawat pamilya,” she said in a statement.
(Whether it's fake news or not, the government should take action because many youths, parents and families are afraid.)
Police earlier said it had the plate number of a van that was allegedly used in the abduction of one of the victims. Authorities are also examining surveillance videos and seeking help from service providers to locate the cellphones of the group.
Report from Sherrie Ann Torres, ABS-CBN News