Busted: SMS about AFP on Red Alert after PCA ruling angered China is a HOAX!advertisement
A text message has been going around warning people that the Armed Forces of the Philippines is on RED ALERT because the ruling from the United Nations’ Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) angered China. It also claimed that planes from the United States, France, Japan and Australia are unloading military equipment at Clark, Pampanga in case China and Arab countries decide to go to war. The SMS has even made its way to Facebook, causing Facebook users to ask for prayers.
However, the AFP, through an announcement on the People’s Television Network (PTV) Facebook page, issued its own warning – not to spread this text message, which they deemed as a HOAX.
AFP Spokesman Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla denied that any truth to the text message, saying that the hoax could be the work of a group of people that aims to disrupt the peace in the Philippines using “offensive cyber activities at disinformation campaign.” He also said the same group could be responsible for the series of hackings victimizing several websites in the country.
Padilla appealed to the public to stop spreading the text and reiterated that the Philippine government will stand by its position of handling the PCA ruling with “restraint and sobriety,” as what Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay said in the DFA’s statement moments after the verdict was out. This is also in line with Duterte’s reminder to his Cabinet members to remain magnanimous in victory.
The Department of National Defense (DND) also denied the content of the SMS through its Facebook page.
“We would like to inform the GENERAL PUBLIC that there is no truth in the text that is circulating about AFP being on red alert, and a military activity in Clark, Pampanga in relation to China’s possible reaction to the recent ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration. The said text is a hoax and I would like to assure everyone that there is no cause for alarm – Usec. Ricardo A. David, Jr., Undersecretary for Defense Policy, DND”
Before sending or sharing information concerning sensitive matters, such as about a military red alert, that may cause unnecessary panic, it is important to verify our sources first. Besides, President Rodrigo Duterte and his Cabinet are discussing about the possibility of engaging in bilateral talks with China after the PCA ruling in the hope of sorting the issues the diplomatic way, without war involved.
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