National Capital Region Police Office chief Guillermo Eleazar talks to the suspect who brought an MK2 grenade inside his bag at the MRT-3 Cubao Station on Saturday night, Feb. 23, 2019. Train authorities saw the grenade after his bag went through the X-ray.
The STAR/Michael Varcas
MRT-3 passenger arrested for possession of grenade
( - February 24, 2019 - 2:22pm

MANILA, Philippines — Authorities apprehended an MRT-3 passenger after an explosive was found inside his bag.

According to initial reports obtained by the Department of Transportation, the passenger identified as Christian Guzman, 29, was arrested after a live hand grenade was discovered inside his bag during an inspection at the Cubao Station. The incident occurred around 7:10 p.m. on Saturday.

DOTr said the grenade was wrapped in packaging tape and placed inside a cellphone box.

The possession of the explosive was immediately reported by the MRT-3 guards to the police officers in the station.

Guzman underwent questioning and was brought to the police detachment in Shaw Boulevard for further investigation. 

The passenger was charged with violating Republic Act 9516 or Illegal Possession of Ammunition and Explosives. He is now in the custody of Police Station 7 in Cubao and is slated to undergo inquest proceedings at the Quezon City Prosecutor's Office on Sunday.

Stricter measures at MRT stations

The DOTr MRT-3 said it would implement stricter security measures to ensure the safety of the public.

“The DOTr MRT-3 would like to stress that this matter will be taken seriously. We ask the patience and cooperation of our passengers as we further tighten the security measures being implemented in our stations,” DOTr MRT-3 said.  

“Please understand that these measures are being done to protect the safety and security of our passengers,” it added.  

The train management also called on the public to remain vigilant and report immediately to its security all the suspicious personnel items, activities and even individuals inside its train stations.

Early February, the DOTr MRT-3 imposed a ban on liquid items citing an alleged bomb threat it had received last month. It explained that any liquid substance could be mixed to form a liquid bomb.

The no-liquid policy drew flak from train riders online who found the rule “unreasonable.”

The train management, however, lifted the liquid ban on Wednesday. — Rosette Adel

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