MANILA, Philippines (2nd UPDATE) – Classes were suspended at the Ateneo de Manila University campus in Loyola Heights, Quezon City, on Wednesday, February 12, due to a reported bomb threat.
After security check was conducted by the police, the National Bureau of Investigation, and the university staff, Ateneo was cleared at past 4 pm Wednesday.
“I would like to inform everyone that the campus has been cleared already by PNP (Philippine National Police) bomb squads,” Ateneo President Fr Jose Ramon Villarin said in a memorandum.
The campus reopened at 5 pm Wednesday.
Inspector Noel Sublay, chief of the Quezon City Police District’s Explosives and Ordinance Division (QCPD-EOD) told Rappler in a phone interview that the Anonas police station received a call from the university asking for police assistance.
According to him, 3 university employees received at 9:49 am a text message of a bomb threat that read: “May bombang sasabog sa Ateneo, paniguradong maraming mamamatay na estudyante at empleyado 30 minutes mula ngayon.” (A bomb will explode in Ateneo, surely a lot of students and employees wil die 30 minutes from now.)
The same, unregistered number sent the text to all 3 employees.
Villarin said they are now following some leads with the police, and tighter security measures will be implemented as classes resume on Thursday, February 13.
Classes and office work have been suspended starting noon Wednesday after the university sent a text message to all students and staff to vacate the Loyola Heights campus
“We advise all units on the Loyola Heights campus to execute evacuation procedures similar to fire drills. Everyone is asked to go home,” the university’s text blast also said.
Villarin said residential buildings were prioritized in the clearing operations, according to a report by The Guidon, the official student publication of the university. – Jee Geronimo/Rappler.com