Lambunao mayor blasts phony FB hostage post

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Friday, June 23, 2017

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ILOILO City – There was no truth to a Facebook post that teachers and students of a public high school in Barangay Caninguan, Lambunao, Iloilo were taken hostage by masked armed men, stressed Mayor Jason Gonzales.

“A hoax” was how he described the post that gullible Facebook users were sharing yesterday.

To dispel the false information, Gonzales also took his clarification to Facebook.

Parents alarmed by the phony Facebook post trooped to Caninguan National High School to fetch their children.

Gonzales appealed for calmness but urged his constituents to be vigilant.

“Barangay captains have all been briefed (of the security situation). The police (station of Lambunao) and (Philippine) (A)rmy are on alert, too,” he stressed.

On Sunday, rebels raided the police station of nearby Maasin town.

Gonzales urged residents to alert the police should they spot persons acting suspiciously.

Lambunao is 47 kilometers northwest of Iloilo City. It has 73 barangays.

The Police Regional Office 6 (PRO-6) recently urged Western Visayans not to entertain social media posts or text messages of suspicious origin.

There was no truth to text messages that members of the Maute terrorist group were now in Western Visayas, according to Chief Superintendent Cesar Hawthorne Binag, regional police director.

“Do not entertain those messages. Panloloko lang ‘yan,” he said.

One of these text messages in Cebuano read: “Membro sa Maute group spotted kanina sa Gaisano mall gapalit og daghan batteries. Daghan na daw na sila dri kina pa sa isa ang na sure nakita naa ba sa mga hotel kun mag assemble sa bomba.”

“Don’t panic. But people have to remain vigilant,” said Binag.

The police director said the text messages may have come from pranksters or people who wanted to sow fear.

“We have monitored similar text messages. We made validations and they turned out to be pranks,” said Binag.

The PRO-6 had not monitored security threats and neither had it detected any member of the Maute group in the region, he stressed./PN





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