PNP urges public not to spread unverified info on missing Batangas kids
The Philippine National Police urged the public not to disseminate unverified information that might cause further panic following the alleged abductions of children in Batangas in recent weeks.
The Calabarzon police regional office made the appeal as it formed a special investigation task group to investigate the reported kidnappings in the province.
“We appeal to the public not to disseminate unverified or hoax information that might cause panic,” said Chief Supt. Richard Albano, regional director of the Calabarzon police regional office.
Last Friday, authorities created the Special Investigation Task Group Batang Anghel to investigate the cases of children gone missing in the province, which made the rounds of social media.
The special investigation task group is comprised of investigators from the local, provincial and the regional police offices, the crime laboratory, intelligence and other concerned units.
On September 3, three cases of five missing children were reported in Batangas City and in the towns of San Pascual and Bauan.
All the victims in the September 3 cases returned safely to their homes.
However, four children aged 11, 12 and 14 who were reportedly abducted last August 27 in Bauan were still missing as of Sunday (Sept. 6).
Senior Supt. Jireh Fidel, Batangas police provincial director, said the earlier cases were verified to be hoaxes while the Bauan cases were confirmed to be cases of missing persons.
“Additional policemen were deployed to ensure maximum police visibilty and protection especially near schools. We appeal for sobriety and calm and for the public to report anything suspicious,” Fidel said.
Albano assured the public that they have been investigating the alleged abductions, which went viral on social media in recent weeks.
“The SITG is encouraging the public to be vigilant and report any similar incident to the nearest police station. Any information will be highly appreciated and will be treated as confidential,” the police official said.
The Calabarzon police regional office also met with the families of the still missing children to assure the families that they would be provided with security if needed.
Albano said investigators have been ordered to look for eyewitnesses, to profile the victims and to maintain close contact with the victims’ families.
“We want to reassure them that the SITG will do everything in order to shed light on the cases and return their children to them. They will be given security if needed so that they may be somewhat relieved of their fear,” the police official said.
Informants may reach the Calabarzon police regional office at (049) 5312293, 09178974365, and 09163987627.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.