Fake terror reports cause panic in Puerto Princesa City
PUERTO PRINCESA CITY – Fake reports and rumors of an impending terrorist attack in this Palawan capital that had spread through text
messaging and social media triggered a panic which prompted school authorities here to suspend classes and send students home early on Friday.
Defense and civil officials had been trying throughout the week to quash the rumors that had spread like wildfire mainly through social
media, including one which said a firefight between terrorists and the military had taken place in Palawan’s southernmost towns of Balabac and Brooke’s Point.
Dennis Lucas, educational program supervisor of the Department of Education (DepEd) in Puerto Princesa, said reports
of a bomb threat in certain schools had worried school authorities that they decided to dismiss the students early.
“We called for an early dismissal of the students because of the reported bomb threats,” Lucas told reporters.
But City Police Director Ronnie Francis Cariaga declared the situation normal in a press conference Friday afternoon.
Early in the week, and in response to the spreading rumors, the military’s Western Command (Wescom) issued a statement asking
citizens to refrain from spreading fake news reports.
“While we treat every information that we receive with seriousness and urgency, we also urge citizens to exercise caution in using their
social media accounts on reports and speculations,” Wescom spokesperson Capt. Cherryl Tindog said. GAL
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.