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PNP investigates Pasay 'abductions'

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The Philippine National Police (PNP) said it is verifying reports on alleged series of kidnapping incidents in Pasay City.

PNP spokesperson, Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac made the statement when asked on whether social media posts about a white van purportedly roaming around Metro Manila to abduct children is a hoax.

The social media posts about the white van and missing children in Metro Manila have become viral for several times in the past.

Recently, a video clip from a closed-circuit television (CCTV) uploaded on Facebook captured how a minor was allegedly taken by a people on board a white van in the southern part of Metro Manila.

Banac said there were allegedly nine incidents of kidnapping in Pasay but only one is validated as proven by CCTV footage while the other cases do not have solid evidence for these to be tagged as kidnapping cases.

“May mga report na mga missing person, pero walang validated na kidnapping, baka po mga naglayas o kaya ay nagtanan, maliban lang sa isang kaso kung saan nakuhanan ng CCTV ang ginawang pagdukot (There were reports of missing persons, but no kidnapping, the children might have ran away from home or just eloped, except in one case where CCTV was captured for abduction),”Banac told reporters when sought for a comment.

Banac, however, said those who witnessed such incident should report them to the nearest police station.

“Kung mayroon mang ganitong insidente ay mangyayari na dumulog agad sa pinakamalapit na himpilan ng pulisya upang maimbestigahan at para magkaroon ng basis ang information (If there is such an incident, we urge the public go to the nearest police station to file report so it can be investigated and to have a basis information),” he stressed.

Banac said National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief, Police Brig. General Debold Sinas has already ordered to conduct probe on the alleged abduction incident.

“These are now being subjected to validation by the NCRPO, including the rumors that there are nine children missing in Pasay City,” said Banac.

Banac urged netizens to be wary of posting and sharing fakes news in their respective social media accounts.

Meanwhile, Maj. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, PNP Chief Directorial Staff, had launched an investigation when he was still the director of the NCRPO when the same story went viral last year.

Eleazar said that they immediately conducted verification on the alleged missing children in Metro Manila and verified the information they gathered at the police stations and the relatives of the alleged missing children.

“All of the missing children who were reported to have been taken by a white van were all found. Some of them just ran away over misunderstanding with their parents,” said Eleazar.

There was even a case of a teenaged girl that was reportedly taken by a white van but turned out to have eloped with her boyfriend.

“We conducted investigation before because it is already creating fear and panic in Metro Manila and even in nearby provinces. Our investigation had revealed that those rumors spreading in social media are not true,” Eleazar said.

The problem before, according to Eleazar, was that parents who reported their children missing did not return to the police to report that their children were found, the reason why he ordered all police commanders before to visit those who reported that their children were missing.

Pasay City Mayor Emi Calixto-Rubiano earlier instructed Pasay police chief, Col. Bernard Yang to look into reports about the alleged kidnapping incidents in the city.

The mayor also reminded citizens to first report these incidents to their nearest community police precinct before posting it on social media.

Social media has been abuzz with teenagers being abducted, particularly within the vicinity of Pasay Rotonda.

Yang, who led the Special Investigation Task Group (SITG), said he has already ordered his men to prioritize these supposed abduction cases.

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