The Bohol Provincial Police Office (BPPO) on Tuesday denied reports indicating that a group of men on board a van is roaming Bohol to abduct children along roads in the province.
BPPO spokesman Senior Insp. Vincent Dumaguing said during the Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) meeting that no information on the alleged abduction attempts reached Camp Dagohoy.
Dumaguing also downplayed accounts which made rounds on social media including previous reports on a black van purportedly roaming Bohol roads and on purported abduction attempts.
However, PO1 Gregorio Pocot of the Cortes Police Station said in an interview with DYRD that a parent of two boys reported to police on February 22 a kidnap attempt on their children, aged 7 and 11.
“Diha’y ming report dire taga Loreto, Cortes iyang mga anak naglakaw kini sa dalan,â€ Pocot said. â€œDunay nagsunod na itom na van matud pa human duha ka lalaki ming gawas unya mi babag sa dalan. Nag bonnet kuno ning duha ka laki.”
Based on the parents’ report, Pocot said that it was a possible kidnap attempt as the men were allegedly wearing bonnets scaring off the children who were reportedly able to flee.
Prior to the purported incident in Cortes, reports on a similar incident also surfaced in Tubigon.
Although police in the town did not confirm the reports, PO2 Ronald Manlangit of the Tubigon Police Station said that authorities in the town were taking precautionary measures.
“Hugot atong seguridad karon. So far, we are patrolling most areas. Halos all barangays gi pang agto sa atong team composed of Army, atoang police and LGU,” said Manlangit.
In Sierra Bullones, police released a notice to the public through its Facebook page on February 17 urging residents to be vigilant amid the spread of reports on attempted kidnapping.
The post was shared more than 10,000 times and was also posted by the Facebook page of another local print news organization before it was taken down by the Sierra Bullones police.
Authorities later on clarified through a follow up post that police have verified that the reported people roaming the town looking for children were book sales persons.
“Naintercept na kadto sa amoang buhatan ug nahibaw-an nga sila ahente sa pagpamaligya og mga libro para sa mga kabatan-unan,” the Sierra Bullones police stated. “Pero gi-awhag ang tanan nga magpabilin nga mabinantayon aron sa pagpabilin sa kalinaw sa atoang lungsod.”
At the same meeting, a member of the PPOC privately tried to get a confirmation about another text message of similar child kidnapping alarm in Antequera.
Minutes later however, by confirmation of Antequera police and the Department of Education, the message turned out to be a false alarm.
The reported missing kid was proven to have hidden himself out of a game. (Rey Tutas)