MANILA (UPDATED) - Separate bomb threats on Tuesday afternoon disrupted work at several government agencies, after offices received various anonymous warnings.
Among the agencies whose employees were told to leave their offices while law enforcement verified the alleged threat were:
Department of Labor and Employment
Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Department of Agriculture
Department of Budget and Management
National Economic and Development Authority
Security officers of DOLE's building told ABS-CBN News that several anonymous emails were sent to their five offices, warning them that a bomb planted inside the building was going to explode by three in the afternoon.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello however downplayed the situation, saying the incident was merely a drill. But he told his employees to go home instead of returning to their offices, according to reports by ABS-CBN's Pia Gutierrez.
Bello also cancelled a high-level meeting with senior labor officials on the issue of contractualization because of the incident.
After a thorough search, personnel of the Manila Police District Explosive Ordnance Division (EOD) said there were no bombs inside the DOLE building.
An EOD personnel told ABS-CBN that this was the fifth bomb threat incident that they responded to on Tuesday afternoon alone.
Two government agencies in Butuan City also received bomb threats on Tuesday afternoon:
Department of Education (CARAGA Regional Office)
Department of Agriculture (CARAGA Regional Office)
DepEd Regional Director Dr. May Eclar said her secretary received a threat via email from a certain Alexander Unger, who alleged that there were four envelope-sized bombs in a steel cabinet on the second floor of their office, which were wired to explode at 3 p.m.
Employees were evacuated while EOD teams inspected the premises. However, no bomb was found.
The DA received a similar email, and inspection also yielded a negative result.
Authorities then also inspected the offices in the Agusan del Norte Provincial Capitol, adjacent to the DA.
Aside from the government offices in Metro Manila and Butuan City, three hotels along Ermita also received bomb threats. –with reports from Charmane Awitan, ABS-CBN News