Press Release
March 15, 2011

Pia on hoax text messages: 'When in doubt, don't spread it!'

Senator Pia S. Cayetano today advised the public not to panic over hoax text messages that started circulating this week spreading rumors that deadly radiation from earthquake-stricken nuclear plants in Japan had already reached Philippine territory and is directly threatening the health and safety of Filipinos.

"People should remain calm and vigilant by staying abreast of news developments instead of panicking over baseless text messages such as those warning of radiation and acid rain allegedly caused by the nuclear plant incidents in Japan that had supposedly reached our country," said Cayetano, Chairperson of the Senate Committee on health and Demography.

"Let us use instant messaging technology to share useful information only, and not to contribute to social anxiety by forwarding unscientific and baseless rumors. In case of doubt as to the source and veracity of any information we receive, we should simply not spread it. Instead, we should refer to official advisories from known authorities such as the Department of Health (DOH), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), PAGASA and the Philippine Nuclear Research institute (PNRI) which are regularly reported through the media.

"Suffice it to say, these government agencies should always be pro-active in educating and informing the people on these issues and should never allow rumor-mongers to overtake them."

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