AUTHORITIES formally filed a criminal complaint against a 19-year-old student who falsely reported and spread fake news about being a “victim” of an alleged white van kidnapping incident in Naval, Biliran.

The suspect, a college student and a resident of Cabucgayan town said the incident happened at about 2:40 p.m. on August 20, 2022, at Barangay Santissimo Rosario Poblacion, Naval.

However, a series of in-depth investigations conducted by Naval Municipal Police Station showed that the kidnapping incident was “all made-up and fabricated considering the inconsistencies of the statements given by the alleged suspect.”

Witnesses and CCTV footage also revealed that no kidnapping incident happened on the said time and date.

“Please avoid spreading news or information that is unverified and would mislead, deceive, and cause fear to the public,” said Colonel Dionisio Apas Jr., acting director of Biliran Police Provincial Office.

“Be more cautious when posting and sharing in social media, and always fact-check the authenticity of reports posted on social media so as not to fall victim to misinformation and disinformation,” added Apas.

The police official also lauded the Naval police personnel, headed by Major Ryan Delima, for the filing of a criminal complaint on September 13, 2022.

The suspect is facing a complaint for violation of Article 154 paragraph 1 of Revised Penal Code, as amended by Republic Act (RA) 10951, or Consummated Unlawful Use Of Means Of Publication And Unlawful Utterances) in relation to section 6 of RA 10175, or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.
(Ronald O. Reyes)