Teener owns up to spreading hoax message in Dumangas

(Photo from google images)

By: Jennifer P. Rendon

On Nov. 4, 2019, Mayor Ronaldo “Onal” Golez of Dumangas, Iloilo “announced” that classes in all levels in the municipality are suspended citing heavy rains and strong habagat winds.

The announcement seemed harmless, except that Golez did not make such declaration.

This caught the town’s chief executive by surprise during the town hall’s Monday flag raising rite as the message spread via Facebook.

He immediately called for an investigation to locate the author of the message.

It wasn’t long before authorities traced the message to a 17-year-old Grade 10 student from Dumangas town.

Police Major Joven Arevalo, Dumangas police chief, said a town hall employee immediately recognized the Facebook user who spread the disinformation.

“We went to his father and told him to accompany his son before Mayor Golez,” he said.

By afternoon of Monday, the boy and his father appeared at Golez’s office where the lad asked for forgiveness.

Arevalo said the boy claimed he read the information of the class suspension in the group chat of their high school class section.

A female classmate allegedly made a screen shot of the announcement after reading it on her Facebook newsfeed.

She then posted it on their group chat and asked if the report is true.

But the 17-year-old boy posted the message and made it appear as a legitimate announcement.

Golez said he has already forgiven the minor and required him to undergo counselling with the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office (MSWDO).

The mayor also warned the boy that he could be criminally liable if he repeats the offense.