‘It was only a question’

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Friday, August 8, 2014


THE 40-year-old woman who was arrested last Tuesday for allegedly making a bomb joke inside the passenger terminal at Pier 4 in Cebu City, said she merely asked why her bag needed to be checked.

“Nangutana ra ko. ‘Ngano duna niy bomba?’ Gidakop dayon ko ato (I only asked why they wanted to inspect my plastic bag and if it contained a bomb. They arrested me for that),” said Charito Abao, who is detained at the Waterfront Police Station.

Abao was supposed to board a boat to Camiguin last Tuesday night.

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Senior Insp. Evan Epe, chief of the Intelligence and Investigation Section of the Cebu Port Police, said two passengers who were standing next to Abao heard what she said.

Witness

Epe said the two are reportedly willing to testify.

“Nakadungog gyud sila nga niingon siya (Abao) anang bomba kuno sa bag. Maybe nadismaya siya nga kinahanglan pang i-inspect iyang bag mao tong nasulti to niya (They heard Abao mention a bomb in the bag. Maybe Abao was annoyed that her bags had to go through security check),” said Epe.

He reminded the public that joking about a bomb threat is against the law.

Presidential Decree 1727 or the Anti-bomb Joke Law declares as unlawful the dissemination of false information about bomb threats.

Unlawful

Under the law, any person who “willfully makes any threat or maliciously conveys, communicates, transmits, imparts, passes on or otherwise disseminates false information concerning an attempt or alleged attempt…to damage or destroy any building, vehicle, or other real or personal property, by means of explosives, shall upon conviction be punished with imprisonment of not more than five years.”

Those who violate the law may also be fined P40,000.

Epe said making jokes about a bomb inside airports, terminals and other public areas is prohibited because it can create panic.

The police will file a case of violation for PD 1727 against Abao.

Last week, a man was also arrested for the same offense inside Pier 3.

Jimboy Feloche, 24, of Baybay Leyte, was reportedly drunk when he made a joke about a bomb inside his bag during the security inspection.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 09, 2014.

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