Stay calm, promptly leave the area if there’s a bomb alarm -Police

By: Delta Dyrecka Letigio January 10,2019 - 06:56 PM

CEBU CITY, Philippines—Don’t panic, just promptly leave the area. 

This was the reminder of Chief Inspector Joemar Pomarejos, chief of the Waterfront Police Station, following the bomb alarm which turned out to be negative at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral this morning, Thursday (January 10). 

A bag was left inside the Cathedral around 9 a.m. and was reported by the security guards to the police as a bomb alarm. 

Pomarejos said that he immediately ordered the Cathedral to be cordoned for the safety of the public and secured the area while waiting for the Explosives and Ordinance Disposal in Central Visayas (EOD-7) operatives. 

“In scenarios like this, people should avoid posting on social media or reporting the news that there is a bomb alarm in a place because it can cause unnecessary panic to the public,” said Pomarejos. 

The bag in question contained only clothes and pilgrim materials such as a rosary and a novena booklet. 

Pomarejos urged the public that if they see a bag left in a public place especially during the Sinulog when crowds flock the city, they should report it immediately to the police. 

“Report to the police, then stay away from the area. Let the police and the EOD do their jobs,” said Pomarejos. 

EOD-7 officer-in-charge, John Abrue, said that when they received the alarm, they immediately went to the Cathedral to confirm if the abandoned bag really contained improvise explosives. 

Together with the EOD-7 team were four explosive detection dogs (EDD) which could detect explosives by smell. 

Three of the four dogs did not show any reaction to the bag which prompted the EOD-7 operatives to check its contents.

Upon opening the bag, the EOD-7 confirmed that it contained no improvised explosives. 

Pomarejos said that the lone dog which reacted to the bag may have been confused by the situation. 

Abreu assured that the EOD-7 dogs are well trained for bomb sniffing but sometimes dogs can react differently in different situations.

He also assured that the EEDs can generally be trusted in handling bomb alarms. /rcg

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TAGS: bomb scare, Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, negative

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