NPC gets bomb threat, suspends work at Pasay office
MANILA, Philippines—The National Privacy Commission (NPC) on Friday (May 12) received a bomb threat online, prompting the government agency to evacuate the premises of its office at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City and suspend work for the rest of the day.
The data privacy watchdog said it received the bomb threat past 11 a.m. through a comment posted on its official Facebook page.
“Time bomb set on your building starts now,” read the comment by Facebook user Angelo Iglesias in one of NPC’s posts on the social media site.
The threatening post came shortly after the NPC concluded its clarificatory meeting with representatives from the e-wallet firm GCash, but there was no indication that this was related to the incident.
The meeting on Friday began at 10 a.m. and ended at 11:53 a.m. via an online platform, according to the government agency.
The meeting stemmed from recent reports by some users of the e-wallet backed by Globe Telecom Inc. about unauthorized deductions in their accounts.
The Pasay City police declared the PICC clear of any explosive device or substances at 4:59 p.m. on the same day, said the NPC.
Privacy Commissioner and NPC Chair John Henry D. Naga highlighted the seriousness of the incident, adding that the commission has taken appropriate measures in response to the threat.
“I want to assure the public that we are taking this bomb threat very seriously, and we have implemented all necessary measures to ensure the safety and security of our premises and personnel,” Naga said in a statement.
The privacy commissioner said his office immediately activated emergency response procedures and notified the security office of the PICC, which houses the NPC office.
“We have already coordinated with the relevant authorities and will be working closely with them to ascertain the credibility and origin of the threat,” Naga said.
In another statement, the NPC said that it has already coordinated with the Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center (CICC) to track down the person who posted the threatening Facebook comment.
Despite this, the NPC said that it had no information yet regarding the individual’s intention or if the threat was made in relation to any of the cases that the data privacy watchdog is currently handling.