Bomb prank call stops court work for 1 hour

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Monday, May 12, 2014


OPERATIONS at the Hall of Justice on Monday were briefly stalled after a branch of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) Davao City received a bomb threat over the phone from an anonymous caller.

RTC Davao City Branch 17 staff Henry June Luchana, in an interview, said his female coworker, who refused to be named, received a phone call from an anonymous caller around 8:30 a.m. He said that his coworker heard a male's voice.

"Ana ang nanawag nga naay bomba nga mubuto karon. Paspas ra daw kaayo ang tawag kay pagkahuman kay gibaba dayon, (The caller said that a bomb will explode right now. The call was too fast since the caller immediately hanged up)," Luchana said.

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After receiving the call, the staff of RTC Branch 17 informed the police officers detailed at the Hall of Justice who relayed the bomb threat to the Davao City Police Office's Technical Support Platoon.

Hall of Justice security guards Jose Emerin and Rosemarie Kingco were also ordered by RTC Davao City executive judge Pelagio Paguican to bar people from entering the establishment.

An Explosive Ordnance Division-K9 Unit led by Senior Police Officer 3 (SPO3) Jimmy Libranza along with SPO1 Roy Miranda and PO2 Noel Apostol of the K9 Unit responded at the scene and conducted a search on the area.

Libranza, in an interview with Sun.Star Davao, said: "Negative ang resulta sa among search operation kay wala man mi nakita nga explosive o mga kaduda-dudang mga bags or mga package sa sulod sa korte. Nagconduct pud mi ug search within sa 10-meter perimeter sa Branch 17 and wala pud mi nakita, (The result of our search operation was negative as we found no explosives nor suspicious looking bags or packages inside the court.
We have also conducted a search within the 10-meter perimeter of Branch 17 and found nothing.)"

It took less than an hour for the responding bomb squad to declare RTC Branch 17 clear from any explosive device.

Miranda, meanwhile, said he has interviewed staff members of the RTC Branch 17 and they too had seen no unusual bags or packages within their office. He then advised the staff to be more vigilant especially that they have already received a bomb threat.

Libranza said it was not the first time that they responded to bomb threats within the Hall of Justice noting that in 2013, they averaged one response to bomb threats every month. He also noted that it was the first time that they took action on a bomb threat this year.

But he was quick to add that although the threat was deemed as a prank call, there should already be caller ID technology installed in every landline in the Hall of Justice so that authorities could track down and arrest prank callers. (RSA)

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on May 13, 2014.

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