Is ISIS targeting Iloilo City? Text messages warn that the terrorist organization is already in Iloilo City. Furthermore, the notices claim that ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) is currently planning to launch attacks in Iloilo. Finally, the messages point out a specific target, the Jaro fiesta on Feb 2, 2019.
Police: “Fake News”
Social media outlets are also a source of the terrorist warnings along with the aforementioned text messages.
Consequently, the text messages also warned of certain other terrorist targets.
However, the Police Regional Office (PRO)-6 appealed to the public to stop spreading what law enforcement officials claim is false information.
“The messages spreading around are all fake news,” the PRO-6 said in a statement.
In another text message, the sender claimed that the information came from an employee of a big mall chain.
It was stated that the mall management was allegedly extorted with $15 million or they were going to bomb the establishment.
The message advised the public from going to said mall.
Is the SM City in Bacolod the “said mall?”
Mall Threat is Old News
This “mall threat” is old news. Check out a Sept. 9, 2016 story from The Daily Guardian’s Dolly Yasa: Dateline Bacolod City:
This time the supposed threat came from Abu Sayaff. The management of SM City-Bacolod, said the report was false.
May Castro, public relations officer of SM City-Bacolod denied reports that Abu Sayaff threatened to bomb the shopping establishment if it failed to pay P15 million, 300,000 US dollars.
Here’s Castro’s official statement from Sept. 2016:
“We are requesting the authorities to verify the source of the information circulating, as said information was not released by any SM officer.”
Here’s the message, which circulated through Facebook:
The message, which circulated through Facebook private message said: “From SM Officers: Hi guys! Just an update, we just got a call from abusayaf right now asking SM for $15million! Or else they’re going to bomb the mall. We have 1 week to do that. We are on high alert now. Tell your love ones, friends and co workers better avoid any SM branch for the mean time. Better be safe than sorry. We are doing close security after receiving the call this morning. Don’t post on your walls as per request of the officer. But do inform relatives and friends. Please private message only. (This is frm: BCD SM ADMIN. – Frm: Kyla Avonahceh. Please don’t post it on your wall. Kindly pass this on your friends. Thank you)
ISIS TARGETING ILOILO CITY? FAKE NEWS
Fake news? Sure sounds like it. Like the chain letters of old claiming tragedy will strike you if you didn’t pass the letter on, people on Facebook continue this insipid tradition.
My own spouse received the SAME EXACT “WARNING”, WORD-FOR-WORD at least twice two days ago, specifically mentioning Abu Sayaff (not ISIS) and the SM City in Bacolod on her Facebook Messenger. One came from her sister who works in Kuwait.