MANILA - Authorities on Wednesday dismissed an alleged bomb scare at SM malls by terror group Abu Sayyaf as hoax, saying the threat is a rehash done by pranksters.
"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," said National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) Director Guillermo Eleazar.
The social media post from a certain Kyla Avonahceh, which circulated on social media following the deadly twin blasts at a church Jolo, Sulu, claimed that SM officers warned the public on visiting its malls due to a bomb threat.
Eleazar urged the public to stop spreading the hoax online and instead remain calm and vigilant.
"I enjoin our citizens to be aware of their surroundings and report to the nearest barangay or policeman, any suspicious person or unusual behavior they may notice," he said.
Full alert status was raised in Metro Manila in the wake of the bombings in Sulu.
On its part, SM Supermalls said the information has been recirculated for the past 3 years.
"It has been verified to be a hoax thru a joint investigation of our company and the local PNP in several areas. Moreover, there has been no SM officer with that name ever connected to our company," it said in a statement.
"Our security has always remained to stay alert and committed to the well-being of our customers, tenants and employees."