MANILA, Philippines – Metro Manila police will file a complaint against controversial blogger Drew Olivar over his bomb scare post on social media.
In a press briefing on Saturday, September 22, National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief Guillermo Eleazar said that Olivar’s actions would not be taken lightly.
“Ito ay aming iimbestigahan (We will be investigating this) and we will prepare appropriate charges before the City Prosecutor,” Eleazar told reporters.
“Maybe after this [briefing], we will ask for more information from Drew. If he wants to send a formal statement, he may do so but he’s not required. The process is fast anyway. Maybe we will file within the week,” he said in a mix of English and Filipino.
On Thursday, September 20, Olivar warned the public in a Facebook post not to goto rallies on the 46th anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law because of a supposed bomb threat.
“Ay, nakakatakot naman mag-rally sa EDSA kasi may kumakalat na baka maulit daw ‘yung pagbomba kagaya ng Plaza Miranda! Kung ako sa inyo, hindi na ako pupunta,” he said.
(Oh, it’s scary to join a rally on EDSA because word is spreading that there might be another bombing like what happened in Plaza Miranda! If I were you, I won’t go anymore.)
He deleted the post after some netizens called him out and said he could be jailed for the bomb scare.
The Plaza Miranda bombing refers to the grenade blast at the proclamation rally of Liberal Party senatorial candidates in Plaza Miranda in Quiapo, Manila, in 1971, which killed 9 people and injured many others, including prominent politicians.
Under Presidential Decree No. 1727, series of 1980, any individual who spread false claims on the concerns of bombs or explosives may face imprisonment of up to 5 years or be fined up to P40,000.
Since Olivar posted the claim on social media, he may also be liable for violating under Republic Act No. 10195 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.
Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson brought Olivar to the NCRPO on Saturday,so he could give his side of the story.
The blogger said he got his information from screenshot of posts earlier this September, and only posted it on Facebook for the public to be more cautious “because he doesn’t know any police officer.”
“Normal lang akong Filipino na walang koneksyon. Saka sobrang busy rin saka hindi ko rin alam ang dapat kong gawin. Marami naman kasing nagpo-post ng ganyan, kaya hinayaan ko na lang,” Olivar said.
(I am a normal Filipino who doesn’t have any connections. And I’m also so busy and I didn’t know what to do. Many people have been posting the same, so I just let it be.)
He denied that he was making a joke, and insisted that he only made the post to inform the public of a possible threat, as Duterte supporters were also staging rallies in Luneta in Manila.
But Eleazar said that acting in good faith does not have weight when assessing the evidence in filing complaints.
“Puwedeng in good faith in doing so, pero kung ito ay lumalampas na, violating appropriate law, malalagot ka diyan lalo na sa paggamit ng social media,” Eleazar said.
(It could be done in good faith, but if it is already violating appropriate laws, you will be apprehended, especially if you are using social media.)
The Metro Manila top cop also reminded the public to refrain from sharing unvalidated claims, which only sows fear among netizens.
He said that such information should be relayed directly to authorities, who would respond immediately. However, he cautioned against sending false claims.
Olivar is the same blogger who was accused of mocking the deaf, for mimicking sign language. The Philippine Federation of the Deaf filed a complaint against him and Uson before the Office of the Ombudsman.
He was also involved a previous controversy over a lewd federalism jingle and dance posted on Uson’s Facebook Live show. – Rappler.com
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