COURT operations were temporarily suspended at the Hall of Justice (HOJ) Building on Cottage Road, Bacolod City after receiving a bomb threat from an unidentified person Tuesday morning, April 6, 2021.
Judge Raymond Joseph Javier said in a statement that around 8 a.m., a staff from the Bacolod City Public Attorney's Office (PAO) received a cellular phone call from an unidentified informant instructing them (PAO) to immediately go down from their office since there is a bomb about to explode.
He said the PAO staff member immediately informed the HOJ Building Administrator Engineer Vincent Solis about the matter.
He said all employees, occupants, stakeholders and visitors of HOJ were ordered to immediately evacuate the building.
Javier noted that the duty policemen called for the Negros Occidental Police Bomb Squad Unit to conduct a sweep of the premises.
After a thorough sweep of the whole building, including the parking lot areas, Javier said the bomb squad cleared the building and declared it safe for occupancy.
He said the court operations resumed around 10:30 a.m.
He said the investigation on the identity of the anonymous caller is still ongoing.
Police Lieutenant Joven Mogato, chief of Police Station 2, said the personnel, who was not identified, told them that an Ilonggo-speaking man warned her that they should leave the HOJ immediately.
When the personnel asked the reason, he said the caller told her that a bomb was planted in the area and could explode anytime.
He said the members of the Bacolod police K-9 bomb squad were deployed in the area, but after almost two hours of thorough search, no explosives have been found.
Mogato said he believes that the bomb scare could be a scheme to delay a court proceeding that was scheduled Tuesday, April 6.