Malacañang on Wednesday appealed for calm and asked the public to ignore “worthless” text messages about a supposed plan by terrorists to bomb densely populated areas in Metro Manila.
At the same time, Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. warned those behind the “bomb” texts that circulating such messages is against the law and that government security forces have ways to identify and track them down.
“Citizens should stay calm. There’s no need to spread such nasty text messages,” he told The Manila Times.
Earlier this week, a text message purportedly coming from a Malacañang official warned of imminent bombing attacks in major cities in Metro Manila. The message claimed that malls, railway stations and other densely populated places are some of the targets.
Certain quarters, however, said the bomb “pranks” could be the handiwork of government men themselves to prevent people from attending the planned inter-faith rallies in connection with the anniversary of EDSA People Power 1.
Several groups have actually expressed intention to join the series of anti-government mass actions, which will include calls for President Benigno Aquino 3rd to step down.
But Coloma vehemently denied that anyone from the Aquino administration would instigate such panic if only to ensure that the rallies would fizzle out.
“Government is not into that kind of business. The government is entrusted with the security and safety of the people and it will not do activities like that,” he said.
The Philippine National Police (PNP) also on Wednesday denied that it issued a public advisory warning on alleged terror attacks in select cities in Metro Manila and Zamboanga City.
PNP spokesman Chief Supt. Generoso Cerbo Jr. told reporters that no public warning advisory was issued.
The PNP spokesman made the denial amid circulating text messages saying the PNP has monitored a group of lawless elements planning to sow terror in the cities of Manila, Pasig, Taguig, and Quezon.
The text messages said the target of these terror attacks would include malls, Metro Rail Transit 3 and other high-traffic areas and public places.
The PNP spokesman said they have not received any such report of planned terror attacks in Metro Manila by lawless elements, and described the circulating text messages as another form of a “cruel joke.”