Police: Bomb Threat Targeting Philippine Airports Appears to Be a Hoax

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MANILA, Philippines, Oct 6, (Agencies): An anonymous bomb threat that led to heightened security measures at all commercial airports in the Philippines is now believed to be “likely a hoax,” according to the chief of aviation police. The alert was triggered after authorities received an anonymous email warning of potential explosions on flights departing from Manila to popular tourist destinations.

Despite the security alert, operations at the country’s main international airport in Manila and its largest airlines continued without any disruptions, with Transport Minister Jaime Bautista assuring that no flight delays were anticipated.

As part of the immediate enhanced security measures, additional police personnel and canine patrols were deployed at Manila terminals, while authorities worked to verify the credibility of the threat. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAAP) had initially ordered airports to step up security following reports of bomb threats. The anonymous email received by air traffic services mentioned a threat to flights from Manila to Davao, Bicol, and the tourist regions of Palawan and Cebu.

The CAAP referred to a screenshot of the email threat, which, while not containing the word “bomb,” indicated that “an airplane will explode” at Manila’s international airport with a caution to “please beware.” The threat also mentioned potential incidents in Cebu, Palawan, Bicol, and Davao.

Cebu, a popular beach destination, hosted over a million domestic and foreign travelers last year, while Bicol in central Philippines saw nearly five million visitors, according to the tourism department.

Aviation police chief Jack Wanky expressed skepticism about the threat, noting that it was most likely a hoax and that airport operations were continuing as usual.

A regional airport in Bicol was the first to receive the email, and it was subsequently reported to police in the National Capital Region. Despite the threat, travelers like Australian business traveler Kevin Beachley did not express significant concern, viewing it as an attempt to cause disruption without taking concrete action.

However, some, like Philippine citizen Joy Nequinto, voiced concerns about airport security, especially in Manila. They highlighted the need for enhanced safety measures.

Despite the security alert, Philippines Airlines and Cebu Pacific Air assured passengers that they were operating normally and following established protocols to ensure safety. Transport Minister Bautista reiterated the commitment to passenger safety and security in a statement.

This news has been read 1636 times!

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