By Martin A. Sadongdong
Following a series of bombings in Basilan, Masbate, and Rizal, the Philippine National Police yesterday alerted the public against hoax threat messages being circulated through various platforms to spread fear.
“The PNP advises the public to be cautious in handling scare rumors being spread thru text, email, and digital social networks,” said PNP spokesperson Senior Supt. Benigno Durana Jr.
Durana clarified that there is no “specific” threat on any particular target despite the bombings earlier this week.
Authorities have said no clear connection was established in the bombings in Lamitan, Basilan and Antipolo City, Rizal last Tuesday and Masbate port last Wednesday.
Following the series of bombings, a chain message was circulated through text saying the Lamitan van blast was “just a prelude to a bigger attack.”
It was vehemently denied by the police.
“The text scare being spread around is untrue and is obviously designed only to create panic. Scare messages of this nature deserve to be discarded and not shared,” Duran noted. “Break the scare chain. DELETE that message as soon as it is received,” he added.
While the PNP said there is no imminent threat in the country, the National Capital Region Police Office and Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Police Regional Office are on heightened security alert status.
“For good measure and everyone’s peace of mind, we are laying-out a preventive security plan designed to harden possible targets and deter any attempt by threat groups to infiltrate our communities,” Durana assured.
He urged the pubic to remain calm but vigilant as he said panic would only cause confusion and fear, which threat groups want to happen.
Durana said peddlers of scare messages can be reported to the national emergency hotline 911 or thru PNP text hotline 0917-847-5757.