Sep 25, 2020

15-year-old kidnap claim a ‘hoax’ – PPCPO

(File photo)

The Puerto Princesa City Police Office (PPCPO) confirmed on Wednesday as a “hoax” the social media post of a 15-year-old girl who claimed she was almost kidnapped by a man using a black van last week in Barangay Sicsican.

Police Colonel Marion Balonglong, PPCPO acting director, told Palawan News that the girl made up the claim to meet the requirements of a group of girls she wished to join.

“Iyong nire-reason out noong 15-year-old na taga-Sicsican na ‘yon is initiation daw nila sa sorority. Pinaano (pinagagawa) ko na ‘yan sa kanya na kung ano ang pag-post mo [sa Facebook] na ikaw ay allegedly in-abduct o kinidnap is ganoon din ang pagbawi mo sa [Facebook] para hindi naman naaalarma ‘yong mga would-be visitors or tourists natin,” Balonglong pointed out.

He added that the local media informed him about the post that went viral on Facebook.

Balonglong said he immediately relayed the report to Police Lieutenant Mark Anthony Maceda, the deputy Station 2 commander for operations to conduct an investigation.

In her Facebook post, the girl claimed she went outside their house to buy load for her mobile phone from a nearby store around 9:30 p.m. on March 21.

“Tapos noong pauwi na ako may humintong itim na van banda sa may coco-lumber dito sa Sicsican, van no plate number at walang tatak as in plain black. And then ako nasa kabilang side ng kalye. May isang mamang lumapit sa akin, tinanong kung saan ako nakatira at sabi ko, ‘diyan lang po sa unahan sa pababa.’ Sabi niya ‘yong mama mo naaksidente pinapasundo ka sa amin, doon siya ngayon sa ospital may sasabihin daw siya sa iyo… tapos bigla akong hinawakan ng mama sa kamay, tapos inakbayan habang papalapit sa van. Nakaitim siya na jacket at pants at may mask. Tapos may babaeng tunawag sa akin sa van, sabi niya, ‘Beh, bilisan mo, kasi magpapatulong sana kami sa’yo saglit lang promise. Noong tatlong hakbang na lang ako, may nakita akong dalawang babae sa likod ng front seat na paraang may tali ‘yong bibig, doon na ako kinabahan noong humigpit pa lalo ‘yong hawak sa akin ng lalaki,” her social media post said.

The Facebook post also said the young girl escaped the supposed kidnapper and warned people, especially young ladies, not to go out alone at night.

On the other hand, Maceda said they were shocked by the social media post so they immediately proceeded to Sicsican and asked the girl about the incident.

Maceda said the girl fabricated the incident that reportedly happened on March 21 but posted it on Facebook the next day, March 22.

“Napuntahan namin siya 23 na. Dalawa kasi ‘yong impact noon, negative talaga lalo na sa tourism natin. Kung sakaling pinanindigan niya [pa at] sabi niya totoo daw at nakarating sa higher headquarters, nalaman ng mga foreign embassies, baka labasan tayo ng travel advisory. Kapag nangyari ‘yon malaking damage sa tourism natin,” he said.

Maceda reiterated that while there was no confirmed and reported incident in Puerto Princesa City, it is important that the “citizens should be vigilant.”

He urged the public to report to them immediately instead of posting the information in social media.

“Sana iwasan natin mag-post ng mga hindi totoo lalo na kapag mga sensitibo na bagay. Kung totoo man, bago sana natin i-post i-sumbong natin sa authorities, sa police, para maaksyunan agad if possible na ma-hot pursuit pa [ay] magawan natin ng paraan. Sana [din] bago i-share [ang information] at mag-comment, alamin muna kung ano ba talaga ang totoo. Mag-ingat lang tayo sa pag-share ng mga ganyan. Basta maging vigilant lang tayo, iwasang lumabas sa gabi. Kung hindi maiiwasan [na lumabas], magsama ng mas nakatatanda o mas maganda kung marami,” Maceda said.

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