BACOLOD CITY – A bomb scare gripped the Hall of Justice in this city on Tuesday, suspending court hearings and office transactions for about two hours in the morning.
Lt. Andy Ofalia, deputy chief of Police Station 2, said their team responded after they were informed that a threat was through a phone call in the hotline number of the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) located on the third floor.
Around 8 a.m., a male caller told an employee to tell all those inside the building to leave as a bomb is about to explode.
Ofalia said they requested that the area be closed and they asked for the assistance of the Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office Explosive Ordnance Disposal and K-9 Unit for the clearing operation.
In a statement, Executive Judge Raymond Joseph Javier of the Regional Trial Court said he instructed the employees and other occupants to evacuate the building to give for clearing of the premises.
“After a thorough sweep of the whole building, including the parking lot areas, the bomb squad cleared the building and declared it safe for occupancy,” he added.
Javier said the court operations resumed around 10:30 a.m., and investigation on the identity of the anonymous caller is ongoing.
The Hall of Justice here is along Gatuslao Street and Cottage Road, and within the vicinity are the local offices of the Department of Labor and Employment and the Land Transportation Office. (PNA)