THE head of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) at the Dumaguete-Sibulan Airport in Negros Oriental on Thursday warned the public against making jokes involving bombs or bomb threats.
“This is to remind the public to refrain from making ‘bomb jokes’ inside the airport to avoid inconvenience especially to our passengers,” said Mark Diamaoden, local CAAP chief.
Diamaoden warned that by doing so is a violation of the law and carries with it stiff sanctions.
“Please be warned that bomb jokes or false bomb threat is in violation of Presidential Decree 1727, and is punishable up to five years imprisonment and P40,000 fine, or both,” he said.
Diamaoden issued his warning following an incident on Wednesday where a Philippine Airlines flight was delayed from departing the Dumaguete-Sibulan airport after a priest had purportedly said something about a bomb, which led to the disembarkation of the passengers.
The CAAP chief declined to comment on the incident, saying that it is the Philippine National Police (PNP) who is handling the case and that the airlines has the discretion to take necessary action against the priest.
The CAAP chief warned that jokes about carrying bombs while in the airport or on board the aircraft will be treated seriously and “anyone cracking jokes will be denied carriage by the airlines and/or entry in the airport and will be subjected to investigation by the PNP-Aviation Security Group.”
“We are also trying our best to promote passenger convenience, and reliable/efficient air travel. In our effort to attain these things, we would like to ask the public to also help us in our determination to have a safe, secure and green Dumaguete airport,” the CAAP official said.
Diamaoden confirmed that the PAL flight departed afterward and even the senior citizen priest, whose name has been withheld, was also allowed to fly.
The Diocese of Dumaguete said the priest was not a member of the local clergy. (PNA)