DAVAO CITY – Tension gripped a school in Catalunan Pequeño here after a student received a bomb threat through text messages from an unknown sender.

A grade seven student of Catalunan Pequeño National High School, received a series of text messages around 7:43 AM on Monday, saying that a bomb will explode within the school premises every five hours.

The text message received says, “Naay bomba sulod sa Catalunan Pequeño School. This is not a joke. This is (a) real bomb inside your school. Ingna imong ma’am (that) this is real (There is a bomb in Catalunan Pequeño School. This is not a joke. This is (a) real bomb inside your school. Tell your teacher that this is real.)”

The sender said that a bomb will explode every five hours and said, “Ayaw ko pasuk-a kay kamo tanan patay (Don’t make me angry because all of you will die).”

The sender also said that the bomb is hidden and that the police will not find it. It also said that he/she is a professional bomb maker.

Around 7:56 AM, the student received another text message saying, “I am not joking. Pinatay niyo ang anak ko, papatayin ko rin kayo (I am not joking. You killed my child, I will also kill you).”

The student immediately reported the matter to her teacher who then informed the school principal.

Leo Asilo, the school principal, ordered the teachers to gather their students at the school gymnasium to avoid panic.

Police authorities with K9 units, Explosives and Ordinance Division (EOD) and bomb disposal units from the Philippine National Police (PNP) arrived shortly to conduct an ocular inspection.

“After about two hours, they declared it negative, there is no bomb. So we advised the students to go back to their respective classrooms,” said Asilo.

He also said that although the school was declared “bomb-free”, some parents insisted that their children should go home because of the threat.

Asilo asked the parents and students not to panic because the police authorities did not find anything inside the school premises.

Meanwhile, Evelyn Leysis, a grade seven teacher, said that she was forced to sign the gate pass slip to allow some of the students to go home.

“Some of the students were crying because they really wanted to go out even after it was announced that the school is bomb-free,” said Leysis.

“Sad to say, but because of what had happened, there were only eight students left,” she added.

She also said that the school needs to learn and undergo bomb threat drills to prevent panic during this kind of circumstances.

“What we have is only the earthquake drill, but honestly, we don’t have the bomb threat drill. See what happened, we are all in panic. Even the teachers don’t know what to do,” she said.

Asilo said that he has already written a request to the Philippine Army to conduct a bomb threat drill and bomb detection in the school.

The school continues to work with the police to trace the sender of the threats.

He said that the SIM card owned by the student was bought just a week ago.

“We will not neglect the possibility that it is true, even if it is just one percent, we will still consider it,” said Asilo.(davaotoday.com)

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