Public reminded vs spreading false info on social media

DUMAGUETE CITY -- The Joint Task Force (JTF) Leon Kilat is calling on the public to remain calm but vigilant amid the terror threat in the region and not to spread false information on social media.

The Joint Task Force Leon Kilat, chaired by Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo, is a composite security group comprised of civilian authority and law enforcement groups like the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), among others.

“In our efforts to be vigilant, let us remain calm and cautious. Let us not feast over unconfirmed information posted on social media,” said Bimbo Miraflor, executive director of JTF Leon Kilat, said on Thursday in a statement issued by authority of the chair, Governor Degamo.

“Please rest assured that the Provincial Government through the Joint Task Force on Security, in close coordination with the Maritime Joint Task Group Deter of the AFP composed of units from the Philippine Army, Philippine Navy, Philippine Air Force, the Negros Oriental Provincial Police Office and the Coast Guard Station-Dumaguete, with the help of other civilian government agencies, is doing our best efforts to give you the most reliable information and to assure you that we are on guard 24/7 for the preservation of our peace and the safety and security of our people”, he added.

In an interview, Miraflor lamented that people posting and sharing unverified and invalidated information on social media makes the situation worse.

The sharing of qualified intelligence or information in social media is “highly disturbing and unnecessary”, he said.

“Exposing it, burns the meat. Hence, panic”, he added.

A recent report from the Maritime Group in Dapitan, Dipolog in Zamboanga del Norte had warned shipping lines to be on the alert for at least seven motor vehicles that were purportedly carrying improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

The report was circulated not only through social media but through text messaging as well even as security forces were verifying the said report.

To allay fears and to assure the public that they were doing their best to verify the said information, the JTF Leon Kilat released afterwards information that showed only three of the seven motor vehicles were found to have records with the Land Transportation Office.

“Truth be told, posting of unreliable and unqualified information on FB (Facebook), Instagram or Twitter and other social media platforms would not help ease the tensions were in. It only makes the situation worse”, said Miraflor.

“Hence, we are calling all men and women of goodwill to exercise prudence and good discretion in disseminating information so as not to create undue public anxiety and unreasonable panic," he added. (PNA)