THE education and information department (EID) of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) main office in Intramuros, Manila received a bomb threat Wednesday morning.
Virginia Bayer, one of the staff members of spokesperson James Jimenez, answered a call from a guy at 9:55 a.m. saying: “May tinanim kaming bomba sa third floor (We planted a bomb at the third floor).”
Comelec personnel immediately thought that the threat was directed to the EID where Jimenez's office was located since the third floor of the other building of the commission -- Palacio del Gobernador -- was not occupied by the poll body.
The EID is located at a shipping center building just beside the Palacio del Gobernador.
The caller added that the threat is a protest to a certain “Miriam.”
“Someone called one of our hotline numbers saying that he planted a bomb at the third floor as a sign of protest for Miriam,” said Jimenez.
It is, however, unclear if the caller was referring to the disqualification case filed against Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago, which was filed by lawyer Nombraan Pangcoga who earlier said the senator is of "unsound mind."
The Comelec official, meanwhile, said they are already investigating if the threat is connected to Santiago.
“We are investigating what he meant exactly because it seems like there is no element in the case that is pending in the Comelec against Senator Miriam Santiago... There is no violent aspect that may be linked to that,” the official said.
Organic security immediately responded to the threat and deployed K9 dogs around the premises.
“After the organic (security), the PNP also conducted their own search of the premises,” Jimenez added.
According to Jimenez, it was the first threat received by the Comelec for this year in connection with the 2010 elections.
After police officials searched the premises, PO2 Alejandro Pancho declared the office cleared of any threat at 11 a.m.
“They cleared this office of any threat so we're back in business,” Jimenez said.
Because of what happened, Jimenez has asked for double security measures surrounding the Comelec area in Intramuros, Manila. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)