2 minors stage fake abduction
Raffy T. Cabristante (The Freeman) - July 18, 2018 - 12:00am

DUMAGUETE CITY, Philippines — Two minors were reportedly abducted by unidentified men along the national highway at Barangay Daro in Dumaguete City on Saturday, sparking online controversy over the weekend about the safety of children in this city.

Superintendent Jonathan Pineda, Dumaguete City Police chief, however revealed on Monday that the “kidnapping” was a false alarm, adding that it was a “made-up story” by the kids themselves who attempted to run away from their parents.

According to the initial report released by the Negros Oriental Provincial Police Office (NORPPO), a certain 12-year-old boy named “Dexter” (full names withheld) was found crying along the national highway Saturday evening and was brought to the Dumaguete Police Station.

Dexter then recounted to authorities that he and his younger siblings, 10-year-old “Jerry” and five-year-old “Princess,” were walking near a motorcycle store at Daro that afternoon when a black sedan followed by two unidentified suspects on a motorcycle approached them.

A man then emerged from the car and forced “Jerry” and “Princess” to get into the car against their will. The “riding-in-tandem” motorcycle suspects barricaded the sidewalk to prevent the minors from escaping.

A separate police report said that, with their alleged abductors, the minors went to as far as Bais City and were dropped in front of the plaza.

However, their uncle Rosalio, who is from Bais, revealed to authorities that the children were not really abducted in the first place, and that they only faked their own kidnapping to avoid the ire of their parents.

Rosalio also told police that the kids, as it turned out, went out of town to watch the annual dog show in Tanjay City, which is held during the city’s fiesta on July. The minors then rode a jeep to Bais, where they stayed the night at their uncle’s residence.

When told that the kids were allegedly abducted, Rosalio dismissed the story as “unbelievable” as they were still “happy and laughing” when they arrived at his house.

News of the alleged abduction, and the subsequent discovery that it was only faked, immediately went viral on social media over the weekend, causing alarm among Dumagueteños.

Radio broadcaster Julius Cataylo, during his commentary over station dyYD Monday morning, noted how his sister became gravely worried about her children after the news of the “fake” abduction spread fast online.

For his part, Pineda also urged social media users to be more careful about what they share online to avoid causing unnecessary panic.

“Katong estoryaha, di man to mokalat kun wala to unang gi-share sa Facebook. Amping-amping pud ta gamay sa atong gipang-post and let’s make sure kun tinuod ba ni o dili,” he told The FREEMAN in a phone interview.

“Dexter,” “Jerry,” and “Princess” eventually went home on Sunday morning and are scheduled to undergo counseling by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). (FREEMAN)  

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