AT LEAST two social media users who posted unverified information about a bomb explosion in Cagayan de Oro City will likely face criminal charges, a city police official said Wednesday, September 26.
Superintendent Mardy Hortillosa II, spokesperson of the Cagayan de Oro City Police Office (Cocpo), said they will verify the identities of the persons behind two Facebook accounts which were already forwarded to the investigation unit for action and possible filing of cases.
Hortillosa said the two may face charges for violation of Presidential Decree No. 1727 or the malicious dissemination of false information of the willful making of any threat concerning bombs, explosives or any similar device or means of destruction.
However, he said this is a bailable offense and is punishable with imprisonment of not more than five years.
Hortillosa said the two posted in their Facebook accounts that a bomb went off in Cogon area, causing several deaths and injuries.
"Gitun-an pa nato unsa nga mga kaso pwede ma-file sa ila ani para maka-send ta og message nga dili magpataka og post sa social media (We are studying the cases to be filed against them. This is to send a message to the public against posting unverified information on social media)," Hortillosa said.
Hortillosa said the police may have tolerated the spread of unverified information in social media before but authorities will not let it slide this time as it may cause panic and alarm.
"Karon medyo naka-create og panic kay once na post dili nana mabalik unya daghan na makabasa (It's creating panic and alarm because once it is posted it can't be taken back and many have already read it)," he added.
Hortillosa reminds the public to be mindful of anything that they post on their social media accounts.
"Kanunay nato gi-remind nga maghuna-huna gyud daan ug i-verify sa otoridad before mag post (We always remind the public to think and verify first before posting)," Hortillosa said.
"Naa tay gihimo nga bomb drill unya basin wala nagpangutana ug nag verify diretso lang dayon nag post (We conducted bomb drill this week and some people may not have asked and verified first that they just instantly post it in their social media accounts)," he added.