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Bantay sarado dapat! Erap orders heightened security in Quiapo Church, Golden Mosque

Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada has ordered local police to tighten up security at two key places in the city: Quiapo Church and the Golden Mosque.

Estrada issued the order even though threats of violence at the Islamic Center in Quiapo seemed to have died down after the series of bomb blasts last week.

The mayor believes the three explosions in Quiapo were caused by “a religious war among the Muslims” in contrast to persistent rumors that some terrorist groups orchestrated the attacks, which led to the death of two persons and the wounding of 20 more.

“Merong petty rivalry among them, Muslim sa Muslim, ‘di magkaintindihan… It’s somewhat a religious war among the Muslims,” the Manila mayor said.

Manila Police District (MPD) Director Chief Supt. Joel Coronel confirmed he received orders from Estrada Thursday afternoon not to relax security measures in and around the Quiapo Church and the Golden Mosque.

“The Mayor’s marching order is to maintain security measures sa Quiapo area, and more importantly to the surrounding environment like Quiapo Church, the Golden Mosque, and all places of worships, ‘di lang Christians but also Muslims and other religions,” he said.

Estrada received a security briefing about the Quiapo blasts from Coronel after the latter held a dialogue with Presidential Adviser on OFW and Muslim Concerns Abdullah Mamao and several Muslim elders at the Islamic Center late Thursday afternoon (May 11).

Mamao had asked the Muslim leaders to support the government in fighting criminality and maintaining peace and order in their community, according to Coronel.