NBI starts monitoring incidents linked to ‘Momo Challenge’
MANILA, Philippines — The Cybercrime Division of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is now looking into the so-called Momo Challenge, reportedly a social media challenge set up by someone called Momo for children and teenagers to complete dangerous tasks, including harming themselves or others or even committing suicide.
“We cannot wait for another incident to happen for us to do something,” Nick Suarez, NBI public information chief, said on Sunday at the “Balitaan sa Maynila,” a weekly news forum held at the Bean Belt Coffeeshop at the Tinapayan Festival Building in Manila.
Suarez was referring to recent incidents that had been linked to the Momo Challenge.
One was the apparent suicide of an 11-year-old via drug overdose. Another involved a 15-year-old boy who disappeared from home and only reappeared after a day. He claimed to have been kidnapped by armed men and managed to escape. Under investigation, however, he admitted to police that he had made up the story as part of the Momo Challenge.
According to Suarez , the NBI has started monitoring every incident being linked to the challenge to find ways how to prevent similar cases.
“We should be alarmed because we’re talking about lives here,” he said.
Suarez appealed to parents to closely monitor their children and take note of any sudden changes in their behavior.
Facebook has already agreed to block all “Momo Challenges” in its platform.
“We already talked with Facebook, kasi Facebook ang nagke-carry ng WhatsApp, and they already agreed they’ll pull out or they will block all ‘Momo Challenges’ na papasok sa kanilang platform,” Information Technology Secretary Eliseo Rio Jr. said.
Meanwhile, Senators Nancy Binay and Risa Hontiveros shared tips on how to monitor the child’s behavior and urged the government to take down the Momo Challenge app.
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