MANILA, Philippines – The Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT3) management said on Friday, February 8, that it received a bomb threat last month.
The MRT3 management said in message sent to reporters that it received the threat via email on January 3.
“It was already coordinated with the authorities, [Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group], for them to track down the email sender. That’s one reason why we tightened security following recent attacks in Mindanao,” it said.
Train officials made the statement after the public backlash from the ban on liquids inside train stations. (LIST: What liquids are allowed inside the MRT3?)
In explaining the controversial policy, which drew complaints from train riders who were asked to leave even small hand sanitizers behind, MRT3 management said: “We just wanted to be cautious, since we have thousands of passengers daily. We do not want to compromise the safety and security of our passengers and personnel.”
“We will not be lax and we will implement more effective security measures in our trains and stations,” it added.
The ban will be lifted once the PNP advises it, MRT3 management said.
The police and the military have been on heightened alert after the bombing at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Jolo, Sulu, on January 27. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the twin blasts. (READ: What we know so far: Jolo Cathedral bombing)
Another blast happened inside a mosque in Zamboanga City on January 30, though Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana had expressed doubts over its link with the the mosque attack.
MRT3 has not suffered any direct bomb attacks, although on February 14, 2005, a bomb exploded inside a bus under the MRT Ayala Station, part of the simultaneous bomb explosions in different parts of the country carried out by the Abu Sayyaf.
The LRT1 was bombed on December 30, 2000, part of a series of bombings in Metro Manila that day collectively called the Rizal Day bombing. That day, a bomb was detonated in a coach of the LRT1 at the Blumentritt Station, killing over 20 people and hurting many others. – Rappler.com
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