Universities gripped by ‘bomb threats’ and ‘red tag’

October 06, 2018

Lately, too many things seem to be happening affecting -- adversely -- the country’s colleges and universities.

Last month, tension had gripped students and faculty members in a number of Metro Manila-based universities after each of them received a bomb threat on separate occasions.

Of the said incidents involving various universities, only one fell into the hands of lawmen. A lady chairperson of the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) and education student of the National Teacher’s College (NTC) was arrested by the police after having been identified as the source of the bomb threat received by her own school.

She was tagged by the Manila Police District (MPD) as one of three ‘bomb threat texters’ that caused the suspension of classes at the National Teacher’s College (NTC) last September 24 and other universities in the Intramuros area as well as the University of Sto. Tomas (UST) in Sampaloc, Manila  last September 18.

The Barbosa Police Community Precinct identified the suspect as  Lezlie Anne  Orteza Bolo,18, an  education student at the NTC and also reportedly the  SK chairperson at Barangay 259 Zone 23 based on her Facebook account profile where her given address was on Rizal Street in Tondo, Manila.

Supt. Carlo Manuel, chief of the MPD Public Information Office, said the suspect was traced through the help of the National Telecommunication (NTC) following a week-long tracking.  Police called up the suspect and her messenger was tracked, leading to her identity and subsequent arrest.

Information gathered by the police showed that the suspect sent the said text message when she got irritated by too much noise coming from the campus. It was supposed to be just a joke and intended to keep the campus quiet.

From September 18 to 24,  bomb threats were received by the Mapua University, the UST, the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, Far Eastern University (FEU) and the NTC, followed by the city-run Universidad de Manila (formerly City College of Manila) in Ermita, Manila.  Fortunately,  all of the ‘bomb threats’ turned out to be negative after a thorough inspection done by the Explosive and Ordnance Division  (EOD). Whoever else is or are behind these bomb threats must really get it. I mean, they should be charged accordingly to avoid similar incidents in the future.  Can you imagine if panic prevailed and people got hurt?

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With the perpetrators of the ‘bomb threats’ yet to be identified and brought to justice, Armed Forces Chief of Staff Gen. Carlito Galvez, just last week, said that the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) is trying to recruit college students in a total of ten universities in Metro Manila. The recruitment of students, as well as workers, according to Galvez, is part of an attempt to bring down the Duterte administration under the “Red October” plot.

The said plot, as alleged by Galvez, is a joint ‘armed and legal struggle that will be conducted by the CPP and NPA (New People’s Army) using the broad coalition with the opposition and also using the infiltration of the different youth sectors and labor sector.’                                                                                                      

‘In fact, they have already organized 10 of the universities in Manila. Right now, they are making a lot of information drives wherein they will tell high school and college students the different atrocities during the Marcos regime and equate that to the present administration,” he alleged further.                                                      

In my humble opinion, Galvez should have held a meeting or dialogues with the said universities first instead of releasing the information – I believe it was intelligence information- in a budget hearing which he knows to be widely covered by the media.                                                                                                             

As expected the mentioned universities denied the allegation and are now daring Galvez to prove the charges.Whether or not he can, we’ll see in the days ahead.

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