The post about an attempted kidnapping of a 10-year-old boy at a convenience store of a gasoline station at Magsaysay-Araneta streets in Bacolod City was a hoax and netizens spreading it online are irresponsible.
Senior Supt. Francisco Ebreo, officer-in-charge of the Bacolod City Police Office, said this during a press conference at the BCPO headquarters, yesterday.
The post of a mother, claiming that two women, who posed as surveyors, tried to kidnap her son, at about 5 p.m. Monday, went viral on Facebook.The mother added that she sustained bruises while trying to chase and fight the women, who escaped on board a white van.
The post, which the police said was “unconfirmed”, created undue panic mostly among children and mothers, who saw it, and also tainted the image of peace and order in Bacolod, Ebreo said.
The two police augmentation teams assigned at the flyover near the convenience store, told Ebreo that there had been no commotion there Monday afternoon.
Policemen from Station 8 were also conducting a mobile patrol and the Traffic Management Unit had a traffic operation during that time, but they did not notice any commotion.
The management of the convenience store also issued a statement to the media that there was no kidnapping of a child by two women who were conducting surveys at their store.
The statements of the police and the management of the convenience store were contrary to what the mother said in her post on Facebook.
There have been recent reports of alleged kidnappings that went viral on social media, but these always turned out to be negative. Either the statements of the victims were inconsistent, or the children madethe alleged kidnapping as an alibi to justify their actions and wrongdoings, Ebreo said.
Anyone who witnesses a kidnapping incident should report it to law enforcement agencies and not post it on social networking sites, he reiterated.
Those who also shared the post are part of the problem as they did not ensure first that the report has been validated before sharing it, Ebreo said.
“We can say that the peace and order situation in Bacolod City is still very manageable and the city is safer than ever before,” Ebreo said.
Records of BCPO showed that, as of yesterday, there were no recorded high-profile crimes, hi-jacking, terrorism, bank robberies, media killing, kidnapping, and political killings in Bacolod.
As proof, the crime volume for the past two weeks of March was in a decreasing trend, Ebreo said.
“From the 36 total crime volume last week, we only recorded 24 for this week of March 17 to 23. And there are only 10 index crimes for this week, compared to 15 last week,” he added.*SGG
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