Police destroy 'suspicious package' near US embassy

MANILA, Philippines – Manila police on Monday, April 28, destroyed a "suspicious package" near the US Embassy in Manila, the same day United States President Barack Obama arrived for a 2-day visit to the Philippines.

In a phone interview with Rappler, National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief Police Director Carmelo Valmoria said the Manila police "destructed" a "suspicious package" near the Bayview Park Hotel, located near the US Embassy.

The package later turned out to be a a carton box with cord tied around it, said Valmoria.

Initial media reports said a "bomb" or "improvised explosive device" was detonated by Manila cops at around 1 pm.

According to one radio report, police found a microchip and a timer attached to the "suspicious package."

But Valmoria insisted: "It's not a bomb or an IED. Maybe someone was just bored."

Earlier, Valmoria said the NCRPO was still on full alert for Obama's visit, carrying over from its alert status during the Holy Week. Full alert means leaves are only permitted if there's an emergency, and police are in full force.

Obama arrived at 1:30 pm on April 28 and will be in the country until Tuesday, April 29.  – Rappler.com