SULU – Sulu Vice Governor Sakur Tan has reminded the public to be extra careful in dealing with text messages they are getting from unknown sources after civilians and even local media received messages of an impending attacks by armed group in the province.
Tan urged those who received text messages to file a report with the police so that authorities could take appropriate actions to stop the proliferation of cell phone messages that tend to scare or sow fear among civilians.
One text message received by a civilian from an unknown person said gunmen would attack Pata Island for reason still unclear, although there was a report of a brief shooting in the area. Another text message urged civilians to evacuate or get out of their village.
Tan said there have been a spike of black propaganda through text messages since politicians filed their certificate of candidacy for this year’s polls.
The propaganda, he said, included personal attacks, slander, defamation and libelous messages sent out by political opponents and detractors, others by people paid by unscrupulous politicians to besmirch the good reputation of others, and destroy peace and development efforts of the government in Sulu.
He said police forces were deployed in key areas in Sulu to protect the civilians from threats of lawless elements. Tan said even civilians are helping authorities by providing information about lawless groups.
Tan said he would ask the National Bureau of Investigation and the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group to investigate and file criminal charges against those behind the spread of misinformation and black propaganda in Sulu because not only it creates fear and terror among civilians, it also violates the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012. (Mindanao Examiner)
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