FALSE: ‘Suicide bomber’ caught at MRT Taft Station

FALSE: ‘Suicide bomber’ caught at MRT Taft Station
Both the Department of Transportation and the Philippine National Police say the man in the photo was part of a security simulation conducted by cops

Claim: A photo of a man with a device strapped on his back circulated on Facebook on Wednesday afternoon, January 22. The captions of the Facebook posts said the man was a “suicide bomber.”

The posts also said the photo was taken at the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT3) Taft Station in Pasay City earlier that morning.

A reader sent a link to a Facebook post that carried this claim to Rappler’s email for verification, but the post had been taken down as of writing.

Using social media monitoring tool CrowdTangle, we found at least 3 other Facebook posts by different pages that contained the same claim. These pages are named 1996 Z, Pro Duterte, and Pasig Balita.

Rating: FALSE

The facts: The Department of Transportation (DOTr) said the photo was taken during a “penetration test” conducted by the Philippine National Police on Tuesday, January 21, at the MRT3 Araneta Center-Cubao Station.

In a public advisory posted on Wednesday, the official DOTr-MRT3 page on Facebook said commuters have “nothing to worry about.” They explained that a penetration test is conducted to assess the alertness or security of an area. (READ: DOTr refutes MRT3 ‘suicide bomber’ post, says it was security test)

Further, Police Master Sergeant James Casimiro of the Cubao police station confirmed to Rappler via phone call that they conducted a “simulation exercise” at the MRT3 Araneta Center-Cubao Station on Tuesday. He also confirmed that the photo that circulated online was taken from this activity. – Pauline Macaraeg/Rappler.com

Keep us aware of suspicious Facebook pages, groups, accounts, websites, articles, or photos in your network by contacting us at factcheck@rappler.com. Let us battle disinformation one Fact Check at a time.

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