THE Police Regional Office in Northern Mindanao has downplayed the proliferation of SMS and online messages about the presence of a terror group in Cagayan de Oro City and Kidapawan City, North Cotabato.
Police Superintendent Surki Sereñas, spokesperson of PRO-Northern Mindanao, said on Monday, January 7 that the messages were false, however, as part of the security procedures, the veracity of the message is being forwarded to their intelligence unit "for validation and analysis."
"Judging by the writing style, the texter is a prankster whose purpose is to sow panic," he said.
"In the security sector, he could be considered a terrorist himself for spreading false information to agitate and sow terror in the mind of the people," he added.
The forwarded messages is said to have originated from a certain "Marlon Sabio," and "PNP Davao," who also has a phone number written on it for "reference."
The introduction of the message claimed that a "high ranking official" has informed his relatives, and it has been forwarded to different chat groups courtesy of "concerned" relatives.
The message contained "information" that the Maute terror group are taking in hostages and will kill these hostages if they get "cornered" later on. The message also advised the receiver not to go out at night.