The military has dismissed as bogus the supposed reports claiming that there was a group planning Islamic State-inspired attacks amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
“We are requesting everyone to be careful in what we are sharing,” said Lt. Col. Ezra Balagtey, spokesperson of the Eastern Mindanao Command, as these reports were circulating in cyberspace.
Balagtey and other military authorities said these rumors were malicious and were intended to sow fear and confusion in the communities. “Let us not add to the anxiety of our people brought about by COVID-19,” he added.
He added that pieces of information concerning security will come from official spokespersons using information platforms.
One of the messages even identified several areas in Mindanao as subject of the attacks even as it warned the people to be alert.
In a text message, Major Arvin Encinas, spokesperson of Western Mindanao Command, said these messages were even recycled as he claimed that a supposed member of the military that was supposed to be the source of the message was not part of the roster of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
Another video in social media has been circulating in social media since 2016. “We now implore the vigilance and cooperation of our fellow Filipinos. We entreat you to be prudent in using social media to prevent their becoming malicious platforms,” he said.
“The Western Mindanao Command is nevertheless on top of the situation. We will not let our guards down in putting an end to terrorism in the midst of this pandemic,” he added.