Urban legend? Police urged to speak up on alleged youth abductions

Sherrie Ann Torres, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 02 2019 04:42 PM

MANILA- The Philippine National Police should update the public on the reported youth abductions in Pasay City as rumors continue to fuel fears among parents, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian said Monday.

Gatchalian said police confirmation and updates are necessary to ensure that the rumored abductions are true.

“In Pasay, they should be able to determine within 24 hours if the incident is a hoax or something that is real,” he said, noting that it is important for authorities to establish if the report is a "practical joke."

"Made-detect naman nila kung fake o hindi. Kung fake 'yan, then public should know so that the public will not live in fear,” he added.

(They could detect if that is fake or not. If it's fake then the public should know so that the public will not live in fear.)

Nine people--8 men and a woman aged 18 to 23--allegedly went missing on Nov. 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 Senator Ronald "Bato" 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 Philippine National Police.

(They shouldn't be afraid of that. Those are isolated cases. There is apparently a commonality in these incidents.) 

Gatchalian meanwhile floated the possibility that reports of abductions are being spread to fuel an "urban legend," recalling how rumors of youth abduction and organ stealing also fueled panic from 2010 to 2013.

“It might be a resurgence of this practical joke,” he said.

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.