MANILA – Chief Supt. Generoso Cerbo Jr , head of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Public Information Office (PIO), on Tuesday asked the public to be responsible in sending text messages that will create fear and panic among their receivers.
Cerbo made the appeal at the height of the text message circulating Monday giving warning on the alleged possible bombing in public places as part of the retaliation of the camp of international terrorist Zulkifli Bin Hir, alias Marwan, who was killed by members of Special Action Force (SAF) on the bloody encounter in Mamasapano, Maguindanao last Jan. 25.
Text warning circulated weeks after the confirmation of the death of Marwan in the bloody encounter with members of Special Action Force (SAF) that also resulted to the death of 44 commandos.
Cerbo said they were not ignoring the text warning but it is better to the public to be responsible in resending it because it will only scare the receivers.
He said instead of resending those kinds of messages, it is better to report it directly to authorities so that appropriate action might be done.
He said that the public’s cooperation is a big help to assure the safety of everyone, adding that they should be vigilant and sensitive in every situation in their surroundings.
He said in case they see suspicious persons roaming around with suspicious action, the public should report it immediately to authorities.
Citing incidents earlier, Cerbo said criminals were always targeting public places such as malls, public transport terminals like LRT and MRT.
Earlier, Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas announced the activation of a text hotline – 09176276927 – where the public can report complaints or any criminal activities in their localities.
The DILG chief said he would personally attend to the complaints texted to him, adding that this will ensure confidentiality of information received from the public.
Roxas appealed to the public to provide the hotline with ‘actionable leads” or information with which the PNP can start investigation or follow-up action.
He assured the public of prompt response from their messages, particularly if they have any knowledge of any criminal activity in their locality; wrongdoings of rogue PNP members; and how the police can serve the public better.