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LRTA explains water bottle fiasco

Robertzon Ramirez - The Philippine Star
LRTA explains water bottle fiasco
The Metro Rail Transit and the LRT Lines 1 and 2 announced last Thursday that bottled drinks are prohibited in train stations following the Jolo, Sulu cathedral explosions that left at least 22 people dead and more than 100 wounded.
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MANILA, Philippines — The Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) yesterday appealed for understanding and cooperation after receiving flak for allowing containers of water on its train amid a ban on bottled drinks.

The Metro Rail Transit and the LRT Lines 1 and 2 announced last Thursday that bottled drinks are prohibited in train stations following the Jolo, Sulu cathedral explosions that left at least 22 people dead and more than 100 wounded.

The government said the measure seeks to prevent the entry of dangerous chemicals contained in plastic bottles as these could be used as “liquid bombs.”

The LRTA, which operates the LRT-2, said the containers of water from its suppliers were allowed “because they were for the consumption of security and operations personnel.” 

“The supplier and the personnel are duly authorized by LRTA, and such gallons underwent pre-security screening before they were allowed to be brought inside the trains,” the LRTA said in a statement. 

The LRTA’s statement came a few days after Twitter user @elyxxy criticized the LRT-2 for disallowing his bottled water and posted a photo of gallons of water in the train. 

The photo received more than 20,000 likes and was shared more than 2,000 times.  

The LRTA said it is only following a directive from the Philippine National Police and the Department of Transportation as far as the ban on bottled drinks is concerned.

It pointed out “there is no overacting” in the policy as it involves the security of passengers. 

The LRTA reminded the public of the Rizal Day bombings on Dec. 30, 2000, which left 22 people dead and over 100 wounded. The explosions occurred at the LRT-1’s Blumentritt station, Plaza Ferguson in Manila, a gas station in Makati, the cargo handling area at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport and a bus plying the EDSA route.

“The broadmindedness, cooperation and vigilance of everyone will be highly appreciated,” the LRTA said.

Three men were sentenced to life imprisonment for the Rizal Day bombings. They reportedly had ties to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and received funding from the Southeast Asian terror group Jemaah Islamiyah.

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LIGHT RAIL TRANSIT AUTHORITY

PLASTIC BOTTLES

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