Teacher held for bomb threats in Metro Manila schools

Emmanuel Tupas - The Philippine Star
Teacher held for bomb threats in Metro Manila schools
Photo provided by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group shows Jake Castro following his arrest in an entrapment operation in Las Piñas on Friday
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — A teacher accused of extortion and threatening schools in Metro Manila with bombings and mass shootings while posing as a New People’s Army (NPA) rebel was apprehended in Las Piñas City, police reported yesterday. Jake Castro, 26, was arrested by operatives of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group under the supervision of CIDG director Maj. Gen. Eliseo Cruz during a sting in Barangay Zapote on Friday.

According to probers, Castro is a teacher at a private school for poor children at Doña Manuela Subdivision in Barangay Pamplona.

Col. Randy Glenn Silvio, who heads the CIDG National Capital Region field unit, said Castro e-mailed extortion demand messages to 33 schools in Las Piñas, Mandaluyong, Makati, Muntinlupa, Parañaque, Pasay, Pasig, Taguig and Quezon City.

Nine of the schools the suspect allegedly threatened are in Parañaque and seven in Quezon City.

Using the e-mail address [email protected], Castro claims to be a member of the NPA special tactics unit, threatening the schools with bombings and terror attacks if his demands are not met.

One of these educational institutions from Barangay Bago Bantay in Quezon City filed a complaint with the CIDG after receiving e-mail from the suspect demanding P2 million.

“In case the school management failed to give in to the demand, they would bomb and blow the school into pieces and would shoot the people inside the school,” Silvio said.

Police said 26 other schools in Metro Manila received similar threats from the suspect.

A school principal convinced the suspect to agree to lower the amount to P500,000. Acting on this, the CIDG launched an entrapment operation with the help of a delivery rider after Castro agreed to receive the money at his house in Zapote village.

The suspect was placed under arrest after he received the marked money.

Police said they confiscated a .38-caliber handgun, five shotgun bullets, a cell phone, other gadgets and a motorcycle from Castro.

Castro is being held on charges of robbery, resisting arrest, illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition, violation of the election gun ban and Presidential Decree 1727 or the Anti-Bomb Joke Law.

Police said they are conducting a deeper probe to determine if the suspect is indeed a communist rebel.

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