No truth in rumor about child organ trafficking in Malaybalay, authorities say

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/12 October) – Authorities here have assured residents not to panic as there is no truth to the rumor circulating around town that children are being killed for their bodily organs to be transplanted to patients in need.

The latest of such rumors says that bodies of two children believed to be victims of child organ trafficking were dumped at Barangay Kalasungay here on Tuesday, prompting the Malaybalay City Federation of Parents Teachers Associations to warn parents not to be complacent and for the police to keep its guard.

Even the principal of the Malaybalay City Central School, the biggest elementary school here, called on her constituents to be careful even as the 3,399 pupils in her school have been all accounted for. Antonieta Reburiano also alerted her school’s security guards.

At the Bukidnon State University, grade school teachers started to panic in the morning when a senior colleague broke the news about the text messages being forwarded on the supposed incident. In the afternoon, the teachers said they received another text message that the bodies were already brought to a local funeral parlor.

But Supt. Erwin Bayani Meneses, city police chief, said there is nothing to worry because there are no such incidents happening in the city. He pointed out that the current tumor is a repeat of what happened last June when similar reports spread like wild fire.

“There is no truth about the reports in the city. There is no truth about it in Northern Mindanao,” he stressed.

Warlika Sadang, women and child protection desk officer of the local police force, said that police personnel went to check the area in Kalasungay alleged to be the alleged dump site. “But they found nothing there,” she said.

SPO1 Arvin Chaves, desk officer at the Malaybalay City police station on Tuesday, when the rumor started circulating, said not a single blotter was recorded on the incident.

As soon as they received a report about it, Meneses said he immediately validated with the city’s Dial 117 unit who immediately verified with its people in the community. But were no such reports in Kalasungay itself nor confirmation from the barangay officials about the alleged dumping.

Even the funeral parlor where the bodies were allegedly brought, Villanueva Funeral Homes, also denied the report. But a staff worker, Noel Talde, had a busy day answering to 20 people wanting to confirm if the rumor is indeed true.

Dr. Melirose Deticio, of the City Health Office, said they also have no record of the alleged deaths but said her office is looking into the issue. (Walter I. Balane / MindaNews)