Davao City allays fears caused by SMS messages claiming explosions

Subscribe Now September 19, 2013 at 09:18am

The Davao City government on Wednesday afternoon allayed fears caused by text messages reportedly claiming explosions, nearly two days after explosions rocked two mall moviehouses in the city.

In a security information posted on its social networking sites, the Davao disaster risk reduction and management office branded as "FALSE" such text messages.

"Text messages of explosions circulating are all FALSE. Responders were earlier deployed only to check on suspicious objects as regular precautionary measures," it said.

"All were cleared as safe objects," it added

On Monday night, successive blasts hit two moviehouses in the SM and Gaisano malls in Davao City.

While no one was wounded, five people were brought to hospitals after complaining of hearing problems.

The local Moro National Liberation Front disowned the blasts, with MNLF Davao chairman Rolando Olamit going to the site of one blast, lest authorities suspect the MNLF's involvement.

Heightened alert

A report by radio dzBB's Davao affiliate Margaret Zapanta said police in the city were placed on heightened alert after the Monday night blasts.

The city government also reminded owners of malls and establishments to install high-definition surveillance cameras.

Under heightened alert, at least half of the police force should be at their posts at any given time.

On Tuesday, Davao City mayor Rodrigo Duterte asked mall owners in the city to step up security in their establishments following the blasts.

Duterte also said the local police and military in Davao City are willing to help train mall security personnel.

Duterte calls Misuari on blasts

Meanwhile, a report on state-run Philippines News Agency said Mayor Duterte called up MNLF founding chairman Nur Misuari and asked him about the blast.

The PNA report said Duterte called Misuari Tuesday morning through mobile phone and got an assurance from Misuari that his followers were not involved.

“I am convinced of his assurance. The MNLF has nothing to do with the incidents. And I believe that there is a third force which is behind this,” he said.

For now, Duterte ordered law enforcement agencies to intensify security measures, including frisking baggages and body checks in all public places.

Source: gmanetwork.com

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