BACOLOD City Mayor Evelio Leonardia appealed to the public to stop spreading or sharing unfounded information or social media posts to avoid causing fear and panic.
On Monday, text messages and social media posts have been circulating that Bacolod is allegedly the next target of bombing after the Davao City blast.
“I appeal to all those spreading these unfounded information, whether intentionally or innocently, to stop immediately. It does not do any good to an already tense citizenry. Let us be vigilant but not paranoid," Leonardia said in a press statement Tuesday.
“Let us be more circumspect on rumors that Bacolod City is one of the next targets of bombing plot,” he added.
Councilor Caesar Distrito, chairman of committee on laws, ordinances and good government, said those who are sharing wrong information could face charges.
“Let us avoid sharing unverified texts or social media posts that will only frighten others. We should be responsible,” he said.
Distrito said only the authorities can confirm if Bacolod is under threat.
Senior Superintendent Flynn Dongbo, acting director of Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO), had earlier said the rumor has no basis, adding that they are on full alert and continue to monitor and secure public places.
For his part, Chief Superintendent Renato Gumban, director of Police Regional Office-18, echoed the city officials’ call not to spread text messages or social media posts about a rumored plot to bomb Bacolod.
“Text messages not from police, please do not spread,” Gumban said during the meeting of the interim Bacolod City Peace and Order Council at the Annex Hall of Bacolod Government Center Tuesday.
He said there is no truth to the rumors, citing police intelligence reports.
Still, Gumban ordered the BCPO to maximize police visibility in Bacolod, especially in places of convergence like malls, ports, terminals, and churches.
He also advised the public to help the police in intercepting bomb plots or averting it.
“If you see suspicious-looking people going around, report it to the police so we can prevent crimes,” he added.
About 35 representatives from various City Hall departments and offices, and government agencies attended the CPOC meeting, including Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran, Councilor Ricardo Tan, and City Administrator John Orola, among others.