MANILA - An unattended bag caused a bomb scare among some devotees at the grand procession of the Black Nazarene in downtown Manila Monday.
This, after a social media user posted unverified reports that the bag found outside Santa Cruz Church contained a homemade bomb, said Chief Inspector John Guiagui of the Plaza Miranda Police Station.
The bag, Guiagui said, only contained the clothes of a devotee from Samar province, who left it momentarily unattended as he went to a comfort room.
"Ang natagpuan po kanina ay mga damit lang dahil galing po ito sa Samar at hindi niya madala papunta sa loob dahil iihi lang siya," the cop told ABS-CBN's "Umagang Kay Ganda."
He reminded the public to avoid causing panic through false reports on social media.
"Huwag po tayong basta magpo-post ng unverified reports dahil ito po ay nakakapagdagdag ng takot sa mga pupunta dito sa Quiapo," he said.
The United States, United Kingdom, and Canada earlier cautioned its citizens against joining the "Traslacion," citing information from the Department of Local and Interior Government on possible terror threats to the procession.
The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) however clarified there was no imminent threat to the religious event.
"Wala po tayong natatagpuang any clear and present danger on any terror act o kahit anumang grupo na maaaring magsagawa ng karahasan dito sa ginagawang Traslacion," said NCRPO director, Chief Superintendent Oscar Albayalde.
(We have not found any clear and present danger on any terror act or group that may cause violence during the Traslacion.)
Some 15 million people are expected at the peak of the 5.9 kilometer-long Traslacion.