PNP asserts abduction stories on social media are ‘mostly fake’
MANILA, Philippines – Rumors spreading on social media about people being targeted and abducted for possible organ harvesting is most of the time ‘fake news’, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said on Friday.
PNP Spokesperson Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac reminded the public that the supposed kidnapping incident in Bulacan that is making its rounds in Facebook is not true, adding that it has been debunked for several times.
“We also admonish authors of ‘fake news’ circulating in social media platforms of a series of purported abductions by suspects on board a white van,” Banac said in a statement.
“In the case of the 10-year old alias Melvin of San Jose del Monte, Bulacan, his father Rodolfo has appeared before the City Police Station to debunk allegations that his son was abducted. He said the boy had ran away from home on three separate occasion in the past and the scars on his belly were from a medical procedure back in 2016,” he added.
Scores of videos about kidnapping incidents in Metro Manila and its nearby provinces have been shared on various social media platforms, after incidents in Makati where a woman was dragged inside a white van; and the issue of disappearing young people in Pasay.
The missing youths in Pasay, the city’s police and the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) said, may be linked to the drug trade. According to Pasay police chief Col. Bernard Yang, there were reports that the missing persons were known in their communities as drug users and pushers.
Yang and NCRPO acting director Brig. Gen. Debold Sinas also noted that there was no resistance among the Pasay youths when they were “abducted.”
Meanwhile, Banac warned those sharing videos and promoting the alleged fake information that they may be liable for breaking Presidential Decree No. 90 or Declaring Unlawful Rumor-Mongering and Spreading False Information, and Republic Act No. 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.
He also said that PNP’s Anti-Cybercrime Group (PNP-ACG) is already probing the matter, while citing a report that belies the rumors.
“Based on the result of Cyber Patrolling and Open Source Investigation of PNP-ACG, it was found out that no recent abduction transpired using a white van nor reported series of abductions lodged in Police Stations and news networks,” Banac said, relaying the PNP-ACG report.
“The alleged abductions of unidentified persons using white van has been circulating in social media platforms as early as 2016 but were found to be a hoax,” he added.
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