DOTr forms task force after bomb threat hits MRT-3
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Friday formed an interagency task force to respond to a bomb threat in Metro Rail Transit 3 (MRT-3).
Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista ordered the activation of an Inter-Agency Task Force composed of the DOTr’s Office for Transportation Security, the Department of Information and Communications Technology and the Philippine National Police.
“The task force was immediately directed to enhance security deployment in all transportation sector,” the MRT-3 information office said in a statement.
“We are taking the necessary precautionary measures to ensure the safety and security of the riding public,” the office added.
On Friday, a bomb threat made rounds on social media.
The threat, attributed to a Japanese lawyer, Takahiro Karasawa, claimed that a bomb would be detonated in the MRT-3 on Friday afternoon.
Similar threats bearing the name of Karasawa also recently targeted several locations in South Korea, according to the Yonhap News Agency.
Karasawa has denied his involvement with the threat, saying his name was used without his permission, the Korean news agency added.
According to the agency, the task force is now conducting continuous assessment of the threat as they plan the next course of action.
Meanwhile, the MRT-3 appealed to social media users not to spread unverified information such as bomb threats.
“We appeal to netizens to refrain from circulating and sharing unverified information so as not to cause undue panic,” they said.
“The task force would like to assure commuters that we are taking all actions to ensure safe and secure travel in all public transport systems.”