BUTUAN CITY – The reported kidnapping of six missionaries, including a foreign national, in Surigao del Sur, is false, the Police Regional Office (PRO) 13 (Caraga) said in a statement Friday.

“There was no kidnapping incident. All the six missionaries from the Wycliffe Bible Translators are having their outreach program in Barangay Bagyang, San Miguel, Surigao del Sur,” PRO-13 director, Brig. Gen. Pablo Labra II, said.

Labra said a joint police and military operation was immediately conducted in the area to validate the report about a kidnapping incident that has been circulating on social media since Thursday.

“The six missionaries, who are all safe, are scheduled to stay and conduct their outreach program in Barangay Bagyang until April 14,” Labra added.

He also asked the public to refrain from sharing unverified reports that may sow panic or create fear, especially if such reports are not validated by the police and other law enforcement agencies.

“Instead of sending out wrong information, please help us monitor the presence of suspicious persons or commission of crimes and illegal activities for swift police response,” Labra said. (PNA)