SECURITY officials in Davao City denied any “white-van kidnapping” or the “puting van” kidnapping incidents in the city, after various reports had been circulating online.
Public Safety and Security Command Center (PSSCC) head Angel Sumagaysay said rumors circulating online of a white van allegedly kidnapping individuals had caused panic to some people.
However, he said they have not received any report of the incident in the city.
“So far, negative,” Sumagaysay said on Thursday, December 5, during the iSpeak media forum at the City Hall of Davao.
The “puting van” reports had been circulating online for the past months, which had been the subject of online memes.
Davao City Police Office (DCPO) Deputy Director for Administration Noel Silvoza also denied the online rumors, saying that the police office has not recorded any blotter report of a missing individuals allegedly kidnapped by a white van.
“Base sa among mga report sa among mga police station, wala mi nadawat bisan isa ka report (Based on our gathered police station reports, we have not received a single report about it),” Silvoza said.
Although he said there is no truth behind the rumors, DCPO is still vigilant in monitoring the situation of the city, especially as it is currently celebrating the Pasko Fiesta.
Silvoza said the DCPO Anti-Cybercrime Group is conducting an investigation regarding the source of the false information.
The police official said individuals sharing hoax information will face legal charges for posing public alarm and scandal.
“Ato gi-awhag kaning nagapakalat og maling information nga undangon ninyo pagpakalat sa mga false information (We are urging those spreading false information to stop it),” Silvoza said.
Sumagaysay, meanwhile, reminded the public to be cautious on their online post.
“Admittedly, uncontrollable ang social media since everyone can almost post anything. But then again, sana maging responsible ang lahat. (Admittedly, anything posted on social media is uncontrollable since everyone can post anything. But then again, we are reminding everyone to be responsible in anything they post online),” he said.
He also reminded the parents to guide their children and remind them on what they post online.
In a SunStar Cebu report on December 4, a 21-year-old college student from Danao City, northern Cebu, may be facing charges for his false kidnapping claims. The Danao City Government said Alvaro will be charged for violation of the law prohibiting alarms and scandals and the laws on cybercrime.