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Bomb Threats And Bomb Hoaxes In The Philippines: Spatial And Temporal Patterns

2144 words - 9 pages

Discussion

The Philippines has always been threatened by hostile forces, both external and internal. Past bombing incidents across the country have generated an atmosphere of anxiety and fear, thereby making government forces and the populace to be more cautious towards actual and perceived threats of an explosion. The result, however, seems like a double-edged sword. Authorities are somewhat successful in convincing the people to immediately report suspicious packages that may contain explosives, and not to ignore bomb threats. The common response is the evacuation of individuals who might be in danger if an actual explosion occurs, thereby resulting in the disruption normal activities in the target location. Knowing this, however, some individuals who have some personal reasons take advantage and maliciously communicate false threats to buildings and places where many people congregate probably just to escape scheduled duties and responsibilities, or probably just a silly joke.

Previous research in other countries (US Department of Justice, 2001; Häkkänen, 2006) indicates that most of the threatened targets were commercial (businesses, restaurants) and transportation buildings (airports), and these threats were communicated through telephones. Findings in the current study, however, provides a stark contrast to these findings. Majority of the target locations of bomb threats in the Philippines are government, educational, and commercial buildings; specifically, court houses, universities and colleges, call centers, high schools, and airports. And most of these threats are communicated through text messages and calls. Bomb hoaxes, on the other hand, are usually found at commercial buildings, government buildings, transport buildings, and highways. Current findings lend support to the argument that bomb threats and bomb hoaxes are determined by the environmental backcloth; and, thus would likely occur at what Brantingham & Brantingham (2008) call as crime generators where lots of people congregate.

Although bomb threats and bomb hoaxes are statistically rare phenomena, it was argued earlier that these events are non-random in space and time, and depict spatial and temporal clusters. Thus, the study aimed to explore the spatial and temporal patterns of bomb threats in the Philippines. Indeed, bomb threats and bomb hoaxes have spatial and temporal patterns. These events are disproportionately concentrated at few locations across the country and at specific times. Specifically, majority of the threats and hoaxes occurred at the highly urbanized area, National Capital Region or Metropolitan Manila, of the country, although some events are scattered across the country. And even at Metro Manila, spatial patterns still exist. It appears that threats and hoaxes concentrate at the triad of Manila City, Quezon City, and Pasay City. In terms of time, most threats are concentrated during weekdays (Monday to Friday) at daytime, specifically during...

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