AMID the series of incidents and ongoing criminal investigations, top police chiefs in Davao urged the public to refrain from spreading false information about unverified cases.

Regional director PBGen. Alden Delvo of the Police Regional Office in Davao Region (PRO-Davao) and police chief PCol. Alberto Lupaz of the Davao City Police Office (DCPO) said the police force is working hard to solve the cases, and the baseless comments from the public do not help the investigation.

This is following the speculations surrounding the Bragas rape-murder case and the alleged kidnapping incident, which was actually a buy-bust operation, in Garcia Heights, Davao City. Both were already addressed by the police.

“Ako nag-awhag sa atong mga katawhan diri sa Davao City nga muhinay lang pud ta sa atong comment pud kay ang inyong kapulisan baya diri sa DCPO naningkamot gyod (I am asking the people here in Davao City to refrain from making comments because the DCPO is really working hard ) to prevent crime to happen,” Delvo said during an interview with the media on Tuesday at the Sanggnuiang Panlungsod in Davao City.

Lupaz added that the public scare roots in the spreading of misinformation, particularly on social media, that leads to instilling fear among the public.

“Actually ang public scare, huna-huna ra man na sa mga tao (Public scare is only in their minds). Hindi sila dapat gumawa ng conclusion agad, like what happened na sabi nila kidnap tapos buy bust pala (They should not jump to conclusions. Like what happened when they said it was a kidnapping incident but it was really a buy-bust operation). Sino ba ang naggawa ng fear? Sila-sila lang din (Who is spreading fear? It’s also them),” he said.

“Kaya sinasabi ko na kung may ganito (When there are incidents like these), you report first to the police, bago mag sabi na kidnap or whatsoever kasi (Before you make conclusions because) you will be instilling fear... Magiging komplikado ang situation (It will complicate the situation),” Lupaz added.

The DCPO chief said that perpetrators of misinformation or those who spread wrong information on purpose may be filed with a criminal case under the Republic Act 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.

“(If) talgang na-identify namin sila, na sila yung nagpapakalat ng maling information, mga fake news, pwede natin silang kasuhan (If we identify those purveyors of false information, we can file them a case). Kasali yan sa Anti-Cybercrime Law,” Lupaz said. ICM