Gov't reminds public: Recent MRT-3 bomb threat a violation of Anti-Terror Law

James Relativo - Philstar.com
Gov't reminds public: Recent MRT-3 bomb threat a violation of Anti-Terror Law
A photo of commuters riding the MRT-3
Released / Department of Transportation Rail Sector Media Affairs

MANILA, Philippines — A task force led by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) is warning that making bomb threats could lead to up to 17 years in prison, following a recent incident in a Metro Manila railway system.

A bomb threat supposedly targeting the MRT-3 was received by authorities on Friday morning through an e-mail, prompting the DOTr to immediately activate an Inter-Agency Task Force to secure the public's safety.

"We would like to remind the public that making bomb threats or spreading false information concerning bomb threat is punishable by law," said the task force in a statement sent to reporters on Friday.

"Under [Presidential Decree] 1727, it carries a fine of imprisonment of not more than five years, or a fine of not more than P40,000 or both."

"Bomb threats are also punishable under the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 or [Republic Act] 11479 with a penalty of 12 years of imprisonment."

After a thorough inspection by security personnel in critical MRT-3 infrastructure systems, the task force did not detect any trace of items presenting a threat to commuters.

An enhanced security posture is currently maintained even without the threat while the government is urging the public to report any suspiscious activities that could petentially cause danger to passengers.

"We reiterate our appeal to the public to refrain from circulating and sharing unverified information online so as not to cause undue panic and confusion," the task force said.

"Any observation concerning security and safety can be directly reported to the following agencies."

The task force includes the DOTr Office for Transportation Security (OTS), Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center, Philippine National Police (PNP), and Railway Security.

Republic Act 11479 was signed by former President Rodrigo Duterte to prevent, prohibit and penalize terrorism. However, progressive groups have earlier criticized the law for fears that it could be used to target legal and legitimate dissent.

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