THE Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center (CICC) is coordinating with the Japanese government to identify the person/s behind the hoax bomb threats received by several government agencies in the Philippines.
The CICC said on February 12, 2024 that at least six government agencies and local government units received bomb threats, disrupting their operations.
Among the agencies that received the bomb threats are the Department of Education (DepEd) division office in Bataan, the local government of Iba in Zambales province, and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) head office in Quezon City.
The email apparently containing the bomb threats, which originated from Japan, also hit multiple government agencies in Seoul, South Korea.
In Cebu, operations of the Cebu City Hall of Justice were also disrupted after a message warning of a bomb explosion at 3 p.m. Monday, February 12, was received by some people. Personnel of the Cebu City Police Office, however, found no bomb.
“There is no cause for alarm as this sender and email has been tagged as a hoax,” the CICC said, noting that similar bomb threats also hit several government agencies last year.
The CICC clarified, though, that affected government agencies were advised to practice their respective emergency evacuation procedures as part of their preparedness efforts and emergency protocols.
Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief General Benjamin Acorda Jr. said that despite tagging the bomb threat as a hoax, they are taking all such reports seriously considering the deadly bombing at the Mindanao State University (MSU) in December that resulted in the killing of four people.
He said they will not stop until they unmask the person behind the malicious e-mail, which affects the operations of the government.
“Well, all we can do is really, although this has been circulating, it’s a hoax but it’s our job…we have to respond appropriately and accordingly. It’s better to do that rather than ignoring it totally,” said Acorda. (TPM/SunStar Philippines)