By Martin Sadongdong
The Philippine National Police (PNP) appealed to the public on Friday to bear with authorities implementing a policy which prohibits the carrying of liquid materials in train stations since it is for the safety of the general public.
Sr. Supt. Bernard Banac, PNP spokesperson, said the ban on liquid materials in train stations was an “additional security measure” that was coordinated with them by the Light Rail Transit (LRT) Line 1 and 2 and Metro Rail Transit (MRT)-3 management.
This, after the Department of Transportation (DOTr) confirmed it received a bomb threat sent through an electronic mail (email) on January 3, several weeks before the twin bombings in Jolo, Sulu on January 27 which left 23 persons dead.
“Naniniwala tayo na lahat ng impormasyon na natatanggap patungkol sa mga threats sa establishments at mode of transport ay nakarating na sa pamunuan ng NCRPO [National Capital Region Police Office] at ito ay iniimbestigahan na (We believe that all information we received pertaining to bomb threats in establishments and modes of transport already reached the NCRPO and these are being investigated),” Banac said.
The sender of the bomb threat has already been identified, according to Banac.
The PNP official also said banning liquid materials in train stations, airports and seaports were included in the international standards being observed in other countries.
“Ito po ay parte lang ng security measures natin kaya po ang panawagan natin sa ating mga kababayan ay konting pag-unawa at kooperasyon lamang para hindi kayo maabala. Huwag na kayong magdala ng liquids (This is part of our security measures so our appeal to the public is a little consideration and cooperation for you not to be inconvenienced. Do not bring liquid materials),” Banac said.
Earlier, PNP chief, Director General Oscar Albayalde revealed that the fragments and components of the improvised explosive devices (IEDs) used in the Jolo bombing possibly contained ammonium nitrate fuel oil (ANFO) compound as primary explosive charge.
The MRT management, for its part, stressed that nitroglycerin, an explosive liquid, can be easily mixed to form a liquid bomb which would be hard to be traced if concealed in ordinary bottle containers.
NCRPO Director Guillermo Eleazar downgraded the full alert status in Metro Manila to heightened alert status after the surrender of the five suspects behind the Jolo blasts.
However, Banac said this did not mean that the police force was already letting its guard down.
“Nagpapatuloy ang ating karagdagang security measures (Our additional security measures will continuously be implemented),” he said.