Poe questions ‘news blackout’ on spate of kidnappings

Sen. Grace Poe expressed concern on the seeming media blackout implemented by authorities on the allegedly increasing kidnapping incidents in the country.

Amid fears and anxiety over reports of abductions, Poe noted the lack of official and verified information from the Philippine National Police (PNP) on the matter.

“Gusto naming malaman mismo sa PNP, ano bang nangyayari dito? Bakit nagkaroon ng news blackout?” Poe said in an interview.

“It needs to be verified from the authorities, either from the NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) or the PNP,” stressed Poe, who is set to participate in the Senate hearing on the matter Thursday.

Poe asked the PNP not to dismiss reports from concerned citizens and organizations, as she warned that the abductions may just be a precursor to much graver crimes, such as prostitution and human trafficking.

“Hindi nila pwedeng sabihin na kung hindi malawakan ay hindi importante,” Poe emphasized.

“Malawakan man o hindi, ‘pag nagkakaroon ng mga ganyang krimen ay dapat talaga tayong umaksyon.”

The senator recently filed Senate Resolution No. 195, which calls for a legislative inquiry on the allegedly rising abduction cases in Metro Manila and Luzon.

Aside from official figures from the PNP, Poe also sought an explanation from authorities on the increasing use of private armed security by certain groups.

Poe said that while citizens are entitled to their own protection, existing laws regulate and limit the hiring of such bodyguards.

“Kung umasta sila, parang may private army na sila sa dami ng bodyguards nila…Siga na, eh,” Poe said.

The public hearing on Thursday will be conducted by the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs chaired by Sen. Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa.#