A CEBU Pacific aircraft bound for Manila was forced to cancel its flight on Tuesday evening after a passenger allegedly cracked a bomb joke while inside the aircraft at Davao International Airport (DIA).
Police Regional Office (PRO) spokesperson Police Chief Inspector Andrea dela Cerna said during Wednesday’s AFP-PNP press forum at The Royal Mandaya Hotel that the Cebu Pacific Flight 5J970 was delayed due to the incident which happened around 7 p.m.
She further identified the person as Blanca A. Pulvera, 28, a resident of Mabini, Compostela Valley province.
The incident prompted the aircraft personnel to instruct the passengers inside the airplane to immediately disembark and the Philippine National Police - Explosive Ordnance Disposal (PNP-EOD) and the K9 unit of Aviation Security Unit (AvSU) 11 personnel conducted Render Safety Procedure (RSP) to ensure the safety of the passengers.
The ‘bomb threat’, however, turned out negative.
“May we again remind the public that bomb joke is punishable by law under anti-bomb joke law RA 1727,” she said.
For cracking the bomb joke, Pulvera may end up imprisoned for five years or fined with not more than P40,000 when found to be guilty. Bomb jokes and hoax is a violation of Presidential Decree 1727 which declares unlawful "the malicious dissemination of false information of the willful making of any threat concerning bombs, explosives or any similar device or means of destruction.”
However, Sasa police station commander Police Chief Inspector Emerson Pugong, in a text message yesterday, said that Pulvera was released by the aviation police since the air carrier did not file a complaint against the offender.