Mapua bomb threats must be stopped

October 03, 2019

Once again, classes have been suspended at the Mapua University in Intramuros, Manila due to an alleged bomb threat.

This time around, the reported threat came from someone claiming to be a member of the New People’s Army (NPA).

Again too, the Mapua University issued an advisory to all its students and employees to leave the campus, saying a bomb threat was received at around 8:20 a.m.

The threat, according to information gathered by the Manila Police District, was relayed to the university via a text message coming from 0916-3778628.  The message, still according to the police, was received by a student who relayed the message to the security guard identified as Alvin Manzano.

Allegedly, the threat read: ‘Kami ang New People’s Army nagtanim ng BOMBA sa loob ng MAPUA University Intramuros Manila. Makikita ang isa sa loob ng CR malapit sa N12, 9am magsimula ang pagsabog mabuhay ang NPA.’

Manzano visited the comfort room or ‘CR’ mentioned and there, he saw a  personal water bottle or container  On it, a small clock was attached.

Operatives from the Manila Police District-Explosives and Ordnance Division (EOD) later declared it as a ‘hoax’ or fake bomb since it lacked the complete components to qualify as an explosive.

Authorities also said it cannot be classified as the making of a real bomb maker or someone who wants to sow terror. The fake improvised explosive device (IED) might have been made by someone who merely wanted to create superficial fear.

The MPD bomb squad scoured the campus and at 11 a.m., the entire area was declared negative for any kind of explosive and other hazardous materials.

It will be recalled that just last September 19, the same university also reported having received a bomb threat.

Similarly, the alleged threat  was received also by a student —or in this case a couple of students—and also via a text message.

The students who claimed to have received the said bomb threat relayed the message to authorities and this became a basis to suspend classes for the rest of the day.

On the said two occasions, Mapua declared that both days will be considered as ‘Digital Days’ meaning  all classes will be conducted online.

Curiously, it was reported that during the September 19 cancellation of classes, it was ‘examination week’ in the said university.

Even more interesting to note is why the alleged sources of bomb threats would relay their messages to students?

While I agree with and commend police and school authorities for taking every such report seriously,  I think investigation should also go to the part where some students should also be investigated.

We cannot discount the possibility that such threats may also be the handiwork of student- pranksters who stand to gain if classes are suspended on said days when they were actually suspended.

I recall a recent case of bomb threat also in a university in Metro Manila where a student or two were charged after a thorough investigation showed that they were behind the dastardly act.

Students who merely want to learn and finish their studies are inevitably affected by the said bomb threats, whether or not they are real or hoaxes.

How can you study well and go to school daily amid fears that your school may be blown up anytime?

What’s happening in Mapua is one bomb threat too many. I hope that school authorities will step up security measures and be more vigilant since the police cannot be there 24/7.

There is a need to put a stop to these threats whether real or fake. Students are paying tuition fees to study in peace.

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