October 4, 2022

On Aug. 21, some progressive and militant groups posted an alert on social media, alleging State security forces have abducted a member of the Cordillera People’s Alliance (CPA) Regional Council in front of a store along Ag-a Road, Appas, Tabuk City, Kalinga.

Police report showed the supposed victim was on a drinking session when a group of unidentified men on board a white vehicle allegedly took him in front of the store.

On Aug. 22, the daughter of the supposed victim posted on Facebook that her father has returned alive and well. Surprisingly, he was brought back in front of the office of the CPA, also at Barangay Appas. There were no marks of him having been mauled.

It is absurd that with these facts, these groups immediately concluded the State forces who were behind the supposed mauling and abduction of the supposed victim.

How can they be certain about this when there could have been other factors to be considered? What was the supposed victim up to days before the incident? What about witnesses who could corroborate said allegation? Have any of them actually seen the mauling and alleged abduction? What transpired during the drinking session? Has there been any violent altercation between the alleged victim and those whom he had been drinking with? Where are these people now? 

There was no corroboration on the vehicle used by the men who took the alleged victim. There was no mention of the license plate or any witness who actually saw the vehicle. Why did the supposed abductors bring him back to the CPA office with no bruises? Is this a mere coincidence? Only naive people will believe that.

None of these were considered before these groups posted a malicious statement on social media. Rather, they went on spreading a speculation or even a scenario to malign the State forces without any concrete basis. 

It is important that we first look into the facts of the incident. Let us wait for the result of the police investigation and refrain from spreading baseless accusations on social media. Let this be a lesson for us to be more cautious and discerning. — MA. LOUISA FOLIGAN, spokesperson, Samahan ng Mamayang Nagkakaisa Kontra Terorismo