UP Cebu wants CCPO to explain response to campus bomb threat; cops ‘doing their jobs’

·2 min read

THE Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) is prepared to divulge the results of the investigation into the alleged bomb threat at the University of the Philippines (UP) Cebu on Friday, Sept. 16, 2022.

This, after UP Cebu officials and students sought the CCPO’s explanation as to why it conducted an operation inside the campus based on a prank phone call.

The Mabolo Police Station received a call around noon from a certain Attorney Espina that there was a bomb inside the campus located in Barangay Kamputhaw, Cebu City.

A team from the Special Weapons and Tactics and the Explosive Ordnance Disposal was quickly dispatched to the scene, only to discover that there was no bomb.

University officials also denied calling the police.

UP chancellor Leo Malagar sent a letter to the CCPO requesting a copy of the results of the investigation.

In a statement posted on the Facebook page of Tug-ani, UP Cebu’s official student publication, campus officials sought the results of the probe conducted by CCPO on the prank bomb call.

Tug-ani also urged CCPO for “full transparency” as to why it acted so hastily on an unverified call, claiming that responding police officers violated the 1989 accord between UP and the Department of National Defense that restricts military and police access and operations inside the university.

“Furthermore, Tug-ani demands that the officers and personnel involved be held accountable for their actions, and that the campus admin would do better in future attempts by State forces to enter campus premises,” the post read.

“There is no room or police intrusion in UP. No fascist force is welcome where freedom reigns,” it added.

Not making things up

Lt. Col. Janette Rafter, CCPO’s deputy director for operations, said they’re waiting for the progress report from the Mabolo Police Station.

Rafter also said the police didn’t make the call up, adding that they had no reason to do so.

Whenever they receive a call for assistance or an alarm, they immediately respond to it, especially if it’s a bomb threat, she said.

“We don’t just send a police team to respond to a threat unless we have information; otherwise it will create a scenario in the community. Last month alone, we received many bomb threats, but we also verified the calls. As far as the police response, while verifying the call, we cannot just sit there and do nothing. So we sent a team to investigate,” Rafter said in a mix of Cebuano and English.

The police official pointed out that once the police team realized that the bomb threat at the UP campus was a hoax, its members peacefully returned to their respective units. (JKV / PJB)