Horrified passers-by thought this was the latest victim in the Philippines drug war – but it turned out to be just a doll’s head.
Police arrived in the Tondo district of Manilia on Sunday afternoon after reports that a severed head had been dumped in the street.
Locals feared the gruesome discovery was a ‘chop chop’ victim – the colloquial term for people dismembered by rival drugs gangs.
Hundreds of people crowded round the pile of rubbish while police officers ordered the panicked throng to stand back while forensics teams.
But police were left red-faces they peered under the bag they discovered the victim was actually a mannequin.
Officials believe that local teenagers had planted the plastic head at the side of the street as a prank.
Onlooker Katherin Gacutan said: ”This was not a good joke, not at all. I almost had a heart attack, I was with my daughter during that time.
”We were supposed to go to the mall, but this slow traffic forced us to walk. Turns out, it was only a mannequin.”
Council chairman Lourdes Gutierrez said: ”At first, the police did not want anyone touching the head without permission from the forensics.
”During this time we were waiting. We reviewed the CCTV and saw that it was just a prank, so I decided to intervene.”