TRIAL may establish the innocence of a mother and her minor daughter who were arrested in Daliao, Toril, Davao City for spreading fake news in the social media. Their purpose of spreading the warning about tsunami I guess is of good intention and not to cause panic. Perhaps they only wanted to share their concern to a neighbor that staying near the shoreline is “maybe” unsafe during earthquake for possible tsunami. The “maybe” was omitted when the fear was posted in the social media without tracing the legitimacy of the tale.
Often, the heroic misgivings of “citizen journalists” can cause panic when it spreads news and information not sourced from the authority or of government agencies. In fact in many instances, frank or fake news often spread swiftly than the straight news.
Two days after the 6.3 magnitude earthquake hit Tulunan and the neighboring places, founder and lead pastor Apollo Quiboloy of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, stressed during his Powerline television program, that the earthquake hit the “Kapa countries”. He referred the places overran by Kapa Community Ministry International. Quiboloy in jest continued, “Kaya mag-ingat kayo. Wag ninyong galitin and anak. Baka totohanin ko yung sinasabi ninyong pindotin ko yung ‘vibrator’ ng sanlibutan. Guguho kayo diyan.”
His claim that he has the control when to push the button to cause tremor is half-wit and misleading unless someone with a camera could catch him pushing the button. World renowned evangelist like Quiboloy can easily convince even if the talks is in full witticism. But swallowing hook line and sinker out of innocence is dangerous as the Bible warned God’s people in Hosea 4:6 that “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.”
By the way, on June 2019, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST)-Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) announced the five segments of Central Davao Fault System and listed 60 barangays that were transected. Because there is no equipment to predict as to when are tremors happen; the very least thing the government agencies could do is to hoist signs in the imperiled areas that anytime as the sign says, earthquake ranging 6.3 to 6.8 magnitude can happen.
With the DOST-Phivolcs announcement, everyone has to be equipped with basic knowledge on how to react when this unscheduled eventualities come. Perhaps it’s time to refresh the importance of the duck, cover, and hold; and to know that staying on the upstairs is safer than running to the ground floor. And most importantly, it would be right to remain calm so that our disposition will not cause panic to others. Take note spreading misleading information during disaster is punishable under Section 6(a) of R.A. 10639.