7 arrested in Cebu for making bomb jokes since Davao blast
CEBU CITY, Philippines – Since the country was placed under a state of national emergency after the September 2 bombing in Davao City, 7 people have been arrested in Cebu City for joking about carrying bombs.
The latest arrest happened on Saturday, October 1. According to a Cebu Daily News report, a delivery boy named Raymart Pisalbon joked about carrying a bomb while at the Arcada 5 commercial complex in Mandaue City.
When the security guard asked him what was in the bag, Pisalbon joked "Pabuto ni (explosives)."
Making bomb jokes is punishable with "imprisonment of not more than 5 years, or a fine of not more than P40,000" under Presidential Decree 1767, a 1980 order signed by then President Ferdinand Marcos.
Police and military across Cebu City have increased their presence in public places since the Roxas Night Market in Davao City was attacked. (READ: Police tighten security in Cebu, Central Visayas after Davao blast)
A week after the bombing, on September 9, a woman who was entering Robinsons Place in Cebu City joked about having a bomb in her bag before entering.
“Wala ko kahibaw ana. Dako kaayo akong pagmahay. Please, sir, tabangi ko ninyo,” Sala was quoted in Sun.Star Cebu. (I didn’t know that it was against the law. I really regret what I did. Please, sir, help me.)
According to Sun.Star Cebu's coverage on bomb jokes in Cebu, 19-year-old Carl John Sacal was arrested for making a bomb joke at Soho City Mall on September 12.
At the Ayala Center on September 14, a 15-year-old student was detained by security for making a bomb joke, although he was not arrested.
On September 15, Janelle Camacho was arrested for making a bomb joke at Gaisano Capitol South.
On September 19, Emily Baclaan was arrested for joking about having a bomb at the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center, a public hospital.
Ismael Momo, a painter, was also arrested on September 22, for making a bomb joke at a school on Sanciangko Street.
Cebu City Police Office Director Joel Doria previously said that they would pursue charges against anyone making bomb jokes to stress that doing so is illegal, especially if the country is under a state of alert or emergency.
He also encouraged malls to put up signs warning patrons that making bomb jokes is illegal. – Rappler.com