FALSE: Video of white van 'abducting' student

Claim: Facebook page Deepfreeze posted a closed-circuit television (CCTV) video on November 29 showing the alleged kidnapping of a student forced to enter a white van. (READ: FALSE: Dead children with no internal organs found in Marikina warehouse)

The caption for the post reads, “Grabe ganto pala nangyayari sa mga nakukuha ng puting van! Kaya dapat lahat magingat, mapa bata man o matanda!” (So this is what happens to those who are abducted by a white van! That is why everyone must be careful, whether you are young or old!) 

In the video, a student is seen standing on the sidewalk when a white van suddenly stops in front of him. A man suddenly steps out of the van and forcibly snatches the student. 

Since its posting, the video has gone viral, with over 775,300 views and interactions of nearly 36,800 shares, 6,100 reactions, and 2,500 comments. Rappler found the claim via Facebook Claim Check, a tool that spots potential false posts spreading on social media. 

Rating: FALSE

The facts: The video was staged. The Manila Police District (MPD) said their investigation showed that a group of teenagers made the prank video for fun, according to an ABS-CBN news report published in April 2019. (READ: FALSE: 4-year-old boy 'kidnapped' in Rockwell)

The alleged abduction happened in Santa Ana, Manila on the night of April 14. 

Another incident of the supposed kidnapping was caught by the CCTV camera at Ramon Magsaysay Boulevard on the same date. The MPD compared the two videos and noticed that the supposed victim was the same person. 

One of those who was responsible for the prank video admitted that they only staged it. He confessed that they imitated what they saw on social media and made a prank video on their own. 

As of writing, rumors have been spreading on Facebook about a white van roaming around different parts of Metro Manila and abducting teenagers. In Pasay City, 9 people aged 18 to 23 allegedly went missing on November 20 and November 22.

According to a Philippine News Agency (PNA) report, Philippine National Police (PNP) spokesperson Brigade General Bernard Banac said only one report has been validated as an abduction, as shown through CCTV footage. The other cases have no solid evidence to be tagged as a kidnapping case.  

Some Metro Manila mayors have already released their statements to suppress fear-mongering created by the spread of such rumors on social media.

Pasay City Mayor Emi Calixto-Rubiano ordered the city police to investigate the disappearances of the youth in their city. 

Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte posted on Facebook that Quezon City Police Department (QCPD) has received no reports of any alleged kidnapping in the city. She also urged the citizens to “stop spreading unconfirmed news [sowing] unnecessary panic.”

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian also urged the police to confirm and update the public to tell whether the rumors are true. He also looked at the possibility that the alleged abduction was only an "urban legend" since rumors of kidnapping and stealing of organs also caused panic in the past. - Glenda Marie Castro/Rappler.com

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