Cops nab student behind bomb scare in QC school
MANILA, Philippines —In a swift action, police have arrested the alleged culprit behind the bomb hoax that left the Ponciano Bernardo High School in Quezon City in a state of panic – a 22-year-old student.
The Quezon City Police District (QCPD) issued a statement announcing the arrest of Elfrank Emil Kadusale, an Alternative Learning System (ALS) student at the school.
To recall, Ponciano Bernardo High School’s official Facebook page received a message at around 12:57 a.m. on Thursday from an account named Bob Key Ser Panganiban, claiming that he had planted a bomb in the elementary building that “will wipe [them] out together.”
At the stroke of midnight on Thursday, Ponciano Bernardo High School’s Facebook page received a chilling message – Bob Key Ser Panganiban declared he had planted a bomb in the elementary building, threatening that the explosive “will wipe [them] out together.”
“Isang estudyante ako sa ALS, sama-sama tayo. Sasabog nasa may bag, nasa itim sa may [comfort room] banda. Ubos ang mga bata sa Ponciano. Kailangan magbigay kayo ng [P100,000] pabuya para ‘di ko na ituloy. Teacher ko ay si ma’am Nancy, pakibigay nalang sa room,” the message further read.
(I am an ALS student. We’ll be wiped out together. There’s a black bag near the comfort room that will explode. The students at Ponciano will be wiped out. You need to give me P100,000 so that I won’t push through. Ma’am, Nancy is my teacher; just give it to her in the room.)
Once the premises were deemed safe, the police and the Quezon City Anti-Cybercrime Team were able to trace the source of the threat back to a Grade 8 ALS student, as the profile photo used in the sent message belonged to him.
“During the interview with the minor, he averred that the account used in sending the bomb threat is not his account and belongs to another,” it noted.
According to the QCPD, the student in the photo singled out his classmate, who he identified as Kadusale.
Kadusale was told to proceed to the Barangay Hall of San Martin de Porres in Cubao, where he had to submit his cell phone for examination.
Police said Kadusale “validated that it was his account and verified the same account was the one used in the bomb threat.”
Before the arrest, similar bomb scares evoked terror at the New Era Elementary School, Emilio Jacinto National High School, and San Francisco High School in Quezon City, which was later dispelled by the authorities.
Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte has since issued a stern warning to the people behind these bomb scares.
“We will go after those who spread false information or pranks about bomb threats. Our schools are supposed to be a safe place for our students, and we will not take these pranks and threats lightly,” Belmonte said.
She also instructed the city council to draft an ordinance that would give harsher penalties to anyone who disseminates false information about explosives.
Presidential Decree 1727, issued in October 1980, outlaws malicious dissemination of false information or the willful making of any threat concerning bombs and explosives.
Imprisonment of not more than five years and a fine of not more than P40,000 or both, at the court’s discretion, will be meted out to penalizers.