Freelancer: No Need to Panic

Yesterday we were again disturbed by reports that Bacolod is among cities to be bomb next to Davao.

No other than veteran journalist Teddy Boy Locsin sent tweets on this allegation.

Well, no need to panic, just be vigilant and report immediately to authoritieis any suspicious individual or activity, just to be sure.

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The other day we received at least three different versions of text messages warning people to stay away from malls not only in Metro Manila but also in the Visayas.

Two of the messages came from senders unknown to us, while the other one came from a colleague whose daughter is working in a government press office in Malacañang.

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While the two messages were warning those in Cebu, Negros and Panay.

The other one that came from our colleague, we quote.

“Attn: This was confirmed by Gen. Bato’s staff. Hello everyone in Metro Manila, please stay clear off malls for the time being. We receive inteligence (report) of 4 women from Basilan plotting to do suicide bombings in malls in Manila. All malls are on high alert.

Thank you. Pls Pass by personal message only. Not posting on your (FB) wall for our security. Thanks. Pls take this serious(ly), from Red Cross Philippines.”

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We did not bother to text back to our colleague who sent this, nor to two other senders unknown to us.

We believe, however that this and the two other messages just came from the imagination of some persons who had nothing to do but sow fear.

The way the messages were composed were flawed, and the agencies quoted in the messages are not the offices that should be issuing such statements in the first place.

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Following the Davao City night market bombing that killed 14 and wounded some 70 others on Friday night, the government through the PNP already issued warnings nationwide on the possibility that other crowded areas like malls may be the next bombing targets of the Abu Sayyaf.

The declaration of the nationwide State of Violence is also designed to increase police and military visibility and operations to deter any attempt of the terrorist group to do the same in other places in the country.

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Although the warnings can help remind many of us to take extra caution in light of the recent bombing of civilians, let us always verify the information that comes from sources unknown to us.

Who knows, the messages that we might believe in may turn out to be the exact opposite of what our government is instructing us, to be safe and secure.

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BY THE WAY, President Rodrigo Duterte deserves our all-out support in this campaign against terrorists.

If we gave our all-out support since the anti-illegal drug campaign was started, then we must also give our full support to the efforts of crushing the Abu Sayyaf.

Duterte is the only Philippine president so far who has the guts to drastically reduce the drug menace, if it cannot be totally eradicated.

He is also the only President with the political will to crush this dreaded, heart-less, head-hunting group of kidnap-for-ransom terrorists based in Mindanao.

This is the only chance we’ve got, so let us all support the President.*