- SM said Abu Sayyaf bomb threat a hoax, denied message came from officers
- Police also confirmed hoax message, vowed to continue protecting the public
MANILA, Philippines – SM Supermalls denied the authenticity of a viral text message about the purported threat by the Abu Sayyaf to bomb its malls if they do not pay a $15 million ransom.
In its statement, SM Supermalls said they found the message to be a hoax after a joint investigation with the police and denied it came from one of their own officers.
“The information being re-circulated has been verified to be a hoax thru a joint investigation of our company and the local PNP in several areas. Moreover, the said information did not come from any SM Officer”, read the statement in the group’s Facebook account. “We continue to stay alert and committed to the security and well-being of customers, tenants and employees at all times.”
For his part, National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief Oscar Albayade assured the public of their safety even as he vowed continued vigilance by the police to such threats.
“However, like any other report we receive, the PNP is not taking the information for granted. We have strengthened our target hardening measures in all fronts down to the police precinct level. In NCRPO, we maintained our full alert status to ensure the accounting and maximum presence of our policemen in the streets and places of convergence particularly malls,” he said.
“The public has nothing to fear, while we request the public to remain calm we ask them to remain vigilant and observant. Please report anything they notice unusual to the nearest police station or to any policeman on sight so that we can act immediately & appropriately. Thank you,” he added.