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Manila, QC police placed on full alert

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Police in full battle gear have been deployed in Manila and Quezon City following the explosion that ripped through Davao City Friday night.

Mayor Joseph E. Estrada has placed the Manila Police District under full alert status following the explosion.

Security and contingency measures to protect people in Manila have been doubled to avoid a repeat of the infamous Rizal Day bombings in December 2000, Estrada said.

“To the thousands of Manileños, remain calm but be vigilant at all times,” Estrada said as he urged the people to report to authorities any suspicious individuals or activities in their neighborhood.

In behalf of the city government, Estrada expressed sympathies to the families of the victims of the Davao City bombing.

“Terrorism is a terrible thing, a great threat to civilization. It saddens me that innocent lives are taken by these lawless, God-less terrorists. Nothing, nothing ever justifies terrorism,” he said.

The 4,500-strong MPD will implement more stringent security measures and a 24-hour tight watch on public places in Manila such as stations of the Light Rail Transit, hospitals, schools, shopping malls, markets, bus terminals, ports, and places of worship.

QCPD chief Senior Supt. Guillermo Eleazar said a lockdown is now being implemented and policemen have been deployed to conduct checkpoints in strategic areas in about 110 entry and exit points in Quezon City.

“The checkpoints will be strategized based from our assessment on these entry and exit points,” Eleazar said.

He said the 12 QCPD stations will establish three checkpoints per shift. There will also be intensified police visibility and will regularly conduct inspections in crowded places such as bus terminals, malls, churches and Metro Rail Transit and LRT stations.

The QCPD chief said they are now cooperating with mall owners in providing support elements to keep customers safe.

Eleazar inspected the Araneta Center Bus Terminal as well as nearby malls in Cubao yesterday.

He talked to passengers of a bus at the terminal and explained to them that this forms part of the heightened safety measures after the explosion. (Betheena Kae Unite and Vanne Elaine P. Terrazola)