MANILA, Philippines (3rd UPDATE) – Manila Police District (MPD) denied reports on Saturday that a bomb exploded at the Light Rail Transit (LRT) station in C.M. Recto Ave. in Sta. Cruz, Manila.
Chief Supt. Alejandro Gutierrez, MPD’s district director, said a bomb disposal unit was immediately dispatched to the area after receiving a tip that 3 suspicious boxes were spotted along C.M. Recto Ave. corner Oroquieta St near the Isetann mall and LRT station.
The boxes turned out to contain broken shards of glass, he said.
“Wala naman pong nangyaring pagsabog sa Claro M. Recto. May tumawag dito na may suspected package sa lugar, at nang puntahan ng bomb disposal unit, napagalaman na ang laman pala ng bag ay mga bubog lang po,” Gutierrez told dzMM.
Gutierrez suspects that the informant was the one who left the boxes, possibly to raise fear among commuters.
“Ang duda namin ay ang tumawag dito ay siya din ang naglagay doon para manakot,” he said.
He also clarified that the incident did not disrupt the operations of the LRT. No casualties were reported.
Gutierrez added that they are now investigating closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras in the area to determine the identities of the perpetrators.
Investigations are still ongoing, as of posting.
Witnesses in the area also reported that they heard explosions, but authorities said the detonation was part of the standard operating procedure in opening suspicious packages.
"They tried to check the contents of the said baggage using their own technique which created a small blast," said Transportation and Communications spokesman Atty. Nick Conti.
Reports of the alleged bombing circulated after the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) reported on its official Twitter account that an explosion has occurred at the LRT Recto station.
MMDA, however, later said the reports were unconfirmed. The tweet was later deleted.
"We have deleted our previous tweets about bombing at LRT Recto. Suspicious packages were left but EOD inspection showed contents were bubog"” MMDA said on Twitter.
MMDA's traffic czar Yves Gonzales, who is also the head of the agency's social media group, later took responsibility for the misinformation.
"As head of @MMDA twitter team, I take full responsibility for the wrong tweet posted awhile ago. Initial info should always be verified before posting," Gonzales said on Twitter.