“‘Wag po sana gawing biro.”
A government-run page appealed to the public to refrain from creating jokes or pranks about kidnapping after a student claimed a van-riding group attempted to snatch her.
“Balita Bulacan” on Wednesday reposted an information that noted the viral claims of the girl being nearly kidnapped by individuals in a white van at Naval, Biliran was false.
“Babaeng nag-post online na muntik na siyang ma-kidnap sa Naval, Biliran, nag-public apology matapos maimbestigahan ni Naval Mayor Gretchen Espina. Umamin ang babae na hindi totoo ang nangyari at gawa-gawa lang,” the page said.
“Para sa kaalaman ng ating mga Bulakenyong mamayan. ‘Wag po sana gawin itong biro lalo sa panahon ngayon,” it added.
The local government unit of Naval also shared a message from its chief executive, Mayor Gretchen Espina, about the issue on Wednesday.
“Kusa po tayong pinuntahan sa opisina ng taong gumawa ng video tungkol sa alleged kidnapping involving a white van sa ating lungsod upang magbigay ng kanyang PUBLIC APOLOGY,” her message reads.
“Sa tulong ng Naval MPS, at resulta na rin ng kanilang imbestigasyon, umamin po na WALANG KATOTOHANAN ang kanyang ipinost na video at voice clip,” Espina added, referring to the Naval Municipal Police Station.
“Let it serve as a warning. We will not tolerate false claims that disturb the peace and order of our town. Not in Naval. Not in our town,” she further said.
According to reports, the student shared a video where she claimed that a group nearly kidnapped her using a white van in the municipality. Her post expectedly went viral.
It was later discovered that she only boarded a tricycle and that there was no attempted abduction or kidnapping.
The student admitted that she created a story since she only wanted “to seek attention” from someone “close to her heart.”
“Hindi po totoo ‘yon,” she said about her claims.
Police Col. Charlie Cabradilla, acting Bulacan provincial director, previously appealed for the public to refrain from sharing unverified information about such incidents on social media.
“We are now encouraging the public to be skeptical of any material shared on social media platforms. The majority of these charges posted on social media are false and unsupported by evidence,” he said in a statement before.
“We must exercise accountability in the digital age, particularly when publishing content to social media networks. These may cause confusion, fear, and disorder in our community,” Cabradilla added.
The Police Community Affairs and Development Group in Eastern Visayas also shared an infographic suggesting how people can be vigilant amid the perceived rise of kidnappings.