QC police swamped with bomb threats

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TIGHT WATCH Soldiers watch as policemen inspect the bags of passengers at a bus station in Araneta Center in Quezon City on Wednesday following a series of bomb threats. Metro Manila was placed under heightened alert days after the deadly blast that rocked Davao City. PHOTO BY MIKE DE JUAN

TIGHT WATCH Soldiers watch as policemen inspect the bags of passengers at a bus station in Araneta Center in Quezon City on Wednesday following a series of bomb threats. Metro Manila was placed under heightened alert days after the deadly blast that rocked Davao City. PHOTO BY MIKE DE JUAN

THE head of the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) on Wednesday appealed to the public not to cause panic and hysteria by phoning in false bomb threats.

Sr. Supt Guillermo Eleazar made the appeal after four bomb threats turned out to be hoaxes.

On Wednesday, the Bureau of Internal Revenue main office reported a suspicious package left in the lobby. The package contained garments and examination forms.

Earlier, three schools — General Roxas Elementary School in Brgy. Roxas District; Diosdado Macapagal Elementary School in Brgy Tatalon and Don Alejandro Roces Sr. Science and Technology High School in Brgy Obrero — called the police after receiving bomb threats. Personnel for the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Unit found no explosives.


However, a call at 2:30 p.m. from a resident of Pook Malinis in Barangay UP Campus proved positive since police found an old 2.75-inch diameter cannon shell.

“QCPD is always prepared and ready to quickly respond to criminal activity including bomb threats. However, let us not abuse this capability. Making prank bomb reports spread unnecessary public fear, panic or paranoia. It also gives criminals opportunity to commit crime when police leave their regular posts to rush to help in fake alarms. Let us not concoct hoaxes or spread rumors about bombs, but remain vigilant and immediately report to us any suspicions. We encourage the reporting of suspicious packages, parcels, or bags,” Eleazar said.
To address the bomb scare, the Philippine National Police (PNP) has coordinated with malls, schools, hotels and service providers to tap.

Sr. Supt. Jose Mario Espino, acting chief of the PNP’s Supervisory Office for Security and Investigation Agencies, said security agencies, managers and security guards will be the police force multipliers.

Espino said security guards will be trained to enhance their capability in screening people.

Stress
With so many schools receiving bomb threats, the Department of Education (DepEd) on Wednesday asked the PNP to deploy more policemen near schools.

Education Secretary Leonor Briones said that although the bomb threats turned out to be hoaxes, they have caused “unnecessary stress” among the students and teachers.

“We reiterate our call for police visibility near the schools. We also remind our school officials to intensify security and be extra vigilant to ensure the safety of our teachers, students, and personnel,” Briones said in a statement.

The DepEd chief also called on school officials to ensure the security and safety of students and school personnel.

“We urge the public to report information on terror threats to the police and to avoid spreading unverified information especially through social media,” she added.

On Monday, a supposed bomb threat jolted four schools in Manila.

On Tuesday, classes were disrupted at the Don Alejandro Roces Science Technology High School in Quezon City after a bomb threat was posted on Facebook.

The Cavite State University, Bulacan State University, Sta. Ana Elementary School in Davao City, College of San Benildo-Rizal in Antipolo City, and Centro Escolar University also received bomb threats on Tuesday.

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