USEP campuses in Davao City get bomb threats

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/06 Sept) – Students of University of Southeastern Philippines (USEP) went home Tuesday after classes were suspended due to bomb threats at its main campus in Barrio Obrero and its extension campus in Mintal.

In a telephone interview, Davao City Police Office spokesperson Senior Insp. Catherine dela Rey said both campuses had been cleared of the threats after a bomb squad found no explosives there.

In an interview with MindaNews, Alex Andrea Ledesma, a third year Education student at USEP-Obrero said that she and her classmates were waiting inside their classroom at the College of Education building for their 1:30 p.m. class when their teacher told them to leave as there was a bomb threat.

“Hindi na safe, umalis na kayo (It is no longer safe, leave now),” she quoted her alarmed teacher as saying.

She said she saw school guards telling students and teachers having a class on the second and third floors to also leave the school.

She said students at the College of Education left using nearby gate 3 where police cars bringing in the K9 dogs that inspected the entire area had parked.

Ledesma said her classmate told her of the text message being circulated that a bomb was planted either at the College of Education building or College of Arts and Sciences building and would be set off at around 3p.m.

The two buildings stand only a few meters apart, she said.

Crest Aranguez, a 2nd year BS Mechanical Engineering student, was standing outside the school’s gate 1 as the school guards would not allow him to enter the school campus to get his motorcycle.

He only learned of the suspension of classes at around 2 p.m. while he was inside a nearby internet café.

Beverly Jane Otbot, a 4th year Engineering student, said security guards and their dean Angel Devera told them to leave the school.

First year Economic student Sedney Soriano said he went to the ground floor from the library located at the College of Arts and Sciences building when he noticed that the registrar’s office had been abandoned.

He said he felt suspicious and informed his friend Kwenny Flores, also a first year Economics student, who was at the library to get out.

Students gathered at the school oval but after about five minutes the guards told them to leave the school, he said.

Dela Rey appealed to people to avoid circulating bomb threats to avoid “chaos and panic,” following Friday’s explosion at the city’s night market on Roxas Avenue that killed 14 people and left 71 others wounded.

She said Presidential Decree 1727 penalized “the malicious dissemination of false information of the willful making of any threat concerning bombs, explosives or any similar device or means of destruction.”

She said violations of the law carries a penalty of imprisonment of at least five years. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)