Police junk existence of 'kidnappers on van'

PAMPANGA Police Provincial Office Director Joel Consulta debunked on March 8 the alleged kidnapping incidents perpetrated by groups of individuals on board passenger vans and who roam around the province.

The statement came after several posts warning parents about the alleged kidnappers taking away children wandering on streets circulated on social media and raised fears and worries in communities.

Recently, one Maricriz Castro alleged on her Facebook account that her nine-year-old nephew was almost abducted by a group of men on board a white van in front of a public school in Floriblanca town.

Castro narrated in her post that the alleged kidnappers wearing masks tried to lure the victim into coming with them by offering him money, but the child refused and escaped by throwing a rock at the suspects and ran away.

This was later belied by the Floridablanca policemen, saying there was no such incident that transpired in their municipality as confirmed by a witness who was reportedly in the area when the supposed attempted kidnapping incident happened.

Consulta said there was no abduction incident reported in any municipal police station in Pampanga.

"Walang kaso or kahit report man lang ng kidnapping incident dito sa Pampanga. Kahit ang intel ko wala pang ganyan knowledge. Iyang kidnapping naman ng mga naka-van ay matagal ng kumakalat para panakot lang sa bata (There is no report of any kidnapping incident in Pampanga. This alleged kidnapping has long been circulating to scare children)," he said.

Consulta, meanwhile, urged netizens to refrain from posting or disseminating unverified information on social media, especially if it concerns public safety, to avoid raising fear and dilemma among the public.

Should there be legitimate incidents of attempted kidnapping, he urged parties involved to immediately report to the police for proper action and investigation and resolve the issue.

He also noted that all municipal police stations are regularly conducting checkpoint operations to monitor the peace and order situation in every town, as well as provide quick response to any untoward incident.
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