MANILA, Philippines — Several offices of national government agencies and local government units (LGU) received bomb threats on Monday, authorities said.
O San Marcelino Public Information Office revealed on social media that the Department of Education (DepEd) division office in Bataan obtained information that a bomb scare hit some schools in the province.
Consequently, the DepEd issued a memorandum suspending classes in Bataan while authorities checked the facilities of the affected schools.
The Bataan Provincial Police Office said other government agencies in Bataan have received a similar threat and that it has deployed its explosives and canine unit to thoroughly assess the areas.
O Iba local government in Zambales province also suspended classes in all public and private schools, as well as work in all public offices in the municipality, after receiving a bomb threat.
No details were provided on how the LGU received the notice.
In a text message sent to INQUIRER.net, Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Renato Solidum Jr. confirmed that the director of the Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD) received an email bomb threat.
The email's time in the inbox was 3:31 a.m., but the recipient read it at 8 a.m., he noted.
Solidum said the PCIEERD department is located in the Science Heritage Building of the DOST, along with the offices of the National Academy of Science and Technology and the Institute of Science Education.
Agency employees were instructed to vacate the area around 10 am this Monday to make way for inspection. They were allowed to return to the office around noon after the investigation showed no signs of explosives in the area.
Also on Monday, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources' central office in Quezon City halted operations due to a bomb threat.
However, the Quezon City Police District said, “Upon carrying out panel operations and thorough inspections, the results were negative and no sign of any bomb or any improvised explosive device was found there.”
The QCPD said the alleged bomb threat was attributed to an alleged Japanese lawyer, Takahiro Karasawa – the same name involved in seven bomb threats recorded as of December 5, 2023.
Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla ordered the National Bureau of Investigation to conduct a full investigation into these bomb threats.
“There should be no place for pranks or spreading fear among our people,” Remulla said in a statement.
“Let this be a warning to those behind this that we will not tolerate such acts and will come after you to the fullest extent of the law,” the Justice Department chief added.