NCRPO: SM bomb threat a hoax
MANILA, Philippines — National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief Director Guillermo Eleazar on Wednesday warned the public against a message being shared on social media about a supposed bomb threat at SM supermalls.
Eleazar made this warning after a message from a certain Kyla Avonahceh claimed that officials of the shopping mall received a call from the Abu Sayyaf Group demanding $15 million “or else they’re going to bomb the mall.” The message did not identify the SM branch.
“This is a replay of a similar hoax meant to sow alarm and panic among the citizens in Metro Manila and done by people who are clearly enemies of the State or by irresponsible pranksters,” Eleazar said in a statement.
According to Eleazar, a similar statement also circulated in social media during the bombing of the Roxas Night Market in Davao City, which left 15 dead and scores injured in September 2016.
He said the message is “obviously too casual and carefree in the face of a very serious and extremely scary threat.”
“Moreover, if the said threat is real, a more responsible company and a sane organization like SM would immediately go to us here at the NCRPO and any announcement will likely be done in the sober traditional media such as television, radio and print, rather than just in social media where fake news is already a permanent fixture,” Eleazar said.
Amid the recent bombings in Mindanao, Eleazar assured the public that authorities here are undertaking measures to ensure security in the metropolis.
He also encouraged the public to be aware of their surroundings and report to authorities any suspicious persons or unusual behavior they may notice.
“Let us go by the required daily activities of life with our families, friends and co-workers. Let’s continue to enjoy our lives. I ask our fellow Metro Manilans to be patient and cooperative with our heightened security procedures which is for the good of all,” Eleazar said. /ee
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