FILE PHOTO: The Philippine National Police (PNP) reveals that all bomb threats that targeted various government offices across the country on February 12, 2024 were a hoax. However, he still advised the public to remain vigilant. (Photo by Philippine Daily Inquirer)

MANILA, Philippines – All bomb threats that targeted several government offices across the country on February 12 were a hoax, the Philippine National Police (PNP) revealed on Tuesday.

The PNP, however, still advised the public to remain vigilant.

“These threats also extend beyond our borders, affecting neighboring countries. It was determined that all of these incidents can be traced back to a single email sender named Takahiro Karasawa, who identified himself as a Japanese lawyer,” he revealed in a statement.

On Monday, bomb threats disrupted the daily schedule of offices such as the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Department of Science and Technology in Quezon City, the Department of Education in Bataan and the local government of Iba in the province from Zambales.

READ: Bomb threats hit multiple government agencies and LGUs on February 12

An initial investigation by the Anti-Cybercrime Group (ACG) indicated that the bomb threats were linked to those that occurred in September, October and December last year, according to the PNP.

Once everything was considered just a bluff, authorities came together to formulate a comprehensive strategy to address or prevent repeat fraudulent threats.

The PNP said the conference involved the Department of Information and Communications Technology, the National Intelligence Coordination Agency, the National Privacy Commission, other interested government agencies, as well as a representative from Japan.

Officials said not only should the public remain vigilant, but community leaders were also encouraged to keep their constituents well informed. The PNP stressed that correct information and awareness are crucial factors in preventing the spread of unverified information that could cause unnecessary panic.

The PNP then reminded the public that spreading false information or making threats related to bombs, explosives or similar devices is prohibited under Presidential Decree 1727.

“Violators of this decree may face severe penalties, including up to 5 years in prison or a fine not exceeding P40,000,” he said.

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