Erap on Quiapo bombings: We have them under control
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap" Estrada called on the public to be calm, assuring them that his government, with the help of the police, has the Quiapo bombing incidents "under control."
“I ordered the [Manila Police District or MPD] director Joel Coronel to go about and secure the place in Quiapo where the incident happened," he said in an interview recording released by the Manila City Development Information Service (MCDIS).
Upon Estrada’s orders, the MPD has increased the number of policemen assigned in Quiapo from 168 to more than 350 to patrol the area and conduct visibility checkpoints, particularly around the Golden Mosque, 24/7.
He urged the public to have confidence in Coronel in leading the investigations because he is "hands-on on the peace and order of Manila."
He then praised the MPD for catching an alleged suspect in the first bombing which happened in the evening of April 28.
The Manila City government is also in the process of mobilizing to give "relief" to the people affected, and gathering the Muslim population of the area for a "religious dialogue," the MCDIS said.
Coronel then confirmed that the Muslim leaders "have signified their intention to cooperate" with the officials.
Two in two weeks
In a span of two weeks, two blasts terrorized the densely-populated district, claiming two lives and injuring at least 20 people.
Both blasts were claimed by the Islamic State (ISIS), but the Philippine National Police declared that there is not enough evidence to attribute the incidents to the terrorist group.
Malacañang has also since called for calm and urged the public to stop spreading “news from unverified sources.”
The Quiapo district is also a shopping district, and is home to Quiapo church, visited by hundreds of Catholic faithful daily due to the Black Nazarene image.
The area is also where a sizable Muslim population lives and is the site of the Manila Golden Mosque. – Rappler.com