MANILA -- Metro Manila residents should not fear going to shopping malls, the capital's police chief said Thursday, as he dismissed as a "hoax," text messages that warned of an alleged bomb plot in the wake of deadly blasts in Mindanao.
While there is "no real threat" in the capital, the public should be vigilant and refrain from stoking fear by circulating the text warnings, which were recycled from two years ago, said Director Guillermo Eleazar, chief of the National Capital Region Police Office.
"We should live our normal lives. 'Wag tayo paapekto sa nangyayari sa atin. Bagkus, tayo ay maghanda, magtulong-tulong. 'Wag matakot mag-mall, 'wag matakot," Eleazar told ABS-CBN's Umagang Kay Ganda.
(We should live our normal lives. Let's not get affected by what's happening. Instead, we should prepare and work together. Don't fear going to the malls.)
"Ang ating kapulisan ay nandiyan but just the same, magtulong-tulong tayo. Be calm but very vigilant," he said.
(Our policemen are here, but just the same, we should work together. Be calm but very vigilant.)
Twin blasts claimed by Islamic State jihadists struck a Catholic church on Jolo Island last Sunday, killing 21 people and wounding 100 others. On Wednesday, a grenade exploded inside a mosque in Zamboanga City killing 2 people.
Eleazar said the NCRPO was on the highest alert. Security in vital installations and intelligence gathering were heightened, he said.
"Ayaw natin magkaroon ng spillover... Magbabantay tayo. Metro Manila ito, kailangan mas handa tayo," he said.
(We don't want a spillover. This is Metro Manila, we have to be more prepared.)