JUSTICE Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla directed the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Monday to conduct a thorough investigation into the bomb threats sent through an unverified e-mail account to several government agencies and local government units.
Zambales Governor Hermogenes Ebdane Jr., in his capacity as chairman of the Central Luzon (CL) Regional Peace and Order Council, called on government officials and residents to remain calm and not over-react, as a bomb threat sent via email caused panic in several provinces in Central Luzon, resulting in classes and work suspension in some schools and government offices Monday.
“There should be no place for pranks or spreading fear among our people. Let this be a warning to those behind this that we will not tolerate such acts and we will go after you with the full extent of the law,” Remulla said in a statement.
The Department of Justice said the e-mail sender identified himself as Takahiro Karasawa, supposedly a Japanese lawyer from a certain “Steadiness Law Office.”
In the e-mail, Karasawa, reportedly a skilled bomb maker, emphasized that bombs will rock major Philippine government agencies on Monday, February 12, 2024 approximately around 3:34 p.m.
THE NBI has commenced its investigation into the bomb threats made through e-mail by Takahiro Karasawa.
NBI Director Medardo De Lemos said the agency has coordinated with the Japan Police Attache, other law enforcement agencies, and emergency responders to evaluate the threat.
“Through this coordinated effort, proactive measures will be formulated and implemented to effectively address the threat,” the NBI said in a statement.
The NBI pointed out that the name Takahiro Karasawa has been associated with previous bomb threats across different countries.
It cited the September 8, 2023 bomb threat targeting the MRT-3 system being attributed to the same individual.
“This alarming pattern emphasizes the need for immediate and decisive action,” it added.
The NBI reminded the public “that threats of this nature are taken extremely seriously and will be dealt with accordingly, in full compliance with the law.”
The Quezon City Police District (QCPD) reported Monday the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Central Office in Quezon City received a bomb threat.
However, it tagged the warning as a false alarm after a thorough investigation.
The Department of Education also confirmed the suspension of work ordered by the School Division of Balanga in Bataan due to a bomb threat in government offices.
However, police declared the incident a false alarm after no explosives or hazardous materials were found following a thorough search.
Too much Netflix movies
In a statement sent to the media Monday afternoon, Ebdane said that the bomb threat received by a government office at 3:50 in the morning had spread like wildfire and caused alarm in the neighboring provinces of Bataan, Zambales, Pampanga and Bulacan.
“Some government units reacted as a result and urged residents to monitor the situation in their area. They did right, but unfortunately the report spread fast and some people panicked,” Ebdane said.
However, the governor cautioned everyone not to fall for the bomb scare.
“We should analyze the content of the threat,” Ebdane said, “because experience tells us that this kind is most probably the work of someone who is crazy and wants to sow terror in the community.”
“If you would look at the threat message closely, you’d think the author had watched Netflix movies too many,” he added.
“Let us not over-react; let us not be afraid. What would happen to us if a threat like this one causes a standstill in the government?” Ebdane added.