Cops arrest vlogger over prank at Cagayan de Oro park

Police arrested a 20-year-old vlogger and two others in Cagayan de Oro for pulling a prank intended for his Youtube channel at a crowded local landmark in front of the city's biggest Catholic church on Sunday afternoon, April 18.

Police filed alarm and scandal complaints against vlogger Jeremy Hallazgo and his companions after Hallazgo took off his pants and jumped into the famous dancing fountain in the middle of the crowded Gaston Park, a spitting distance from the St Augustine Metropolitan Cathedral and the Cagayan de Oro City Hall. 

The sight of the vlogger in a long-sleeved shirt and pink boxers jumping into the fountain amused many people and shocked passing churchgoers. Local officials and the police, however, were not laughing.

Hallazgo, known in Cagayan de Oro for his "Daily Fawk" vlog which has around 30 followers as of posting, said he pulled the prank after being challenged by his followers to embarass himself in public by doing something stupid.

Police Lieutenant Colonel Joel Nacua said in an interview on Tuesday, April 20, that they filed alarm and scandal complaints against the vlogger and his companions, Cyrel Raganas and Jeremy Villanovo, so that no one else would copy them.

Nacua added that Hallazgo also risked being electrocuted in the city's famous musical fountain.

The three men spent the night at the police station, though not behind bars, and were released on Monday afternoon.

The city government is not pursuing a complaint against Hallazgo, Raganas, and Villanovo. Nacua said police received a copy of an affidavit of desistance from city hall right after they filed the complaint against the three men.

"It looks like city hall forgave them, but the case is now with the prosecutors. It's up to them now," Nacua said.

An affidavit of desistance is a written statement, under oath, by the complainant that he or she is not interested in pursuing the complaint, but it is not a ground for the dismissal or pursuit of any criminal complaint.

Apology

Hallazgo apologized for the prank. "I'm aware that what I did was wrong, and I'm really sorry for it," he said in an interview with DxIF- Bombo Radyo after he was released on Monday.

His latest prank video was not on his Youtube channel as of posting.

Hallazgo said he would face the consequences of his actions, saying, "What I did was simply wrong."

He also said that one of his arrested friends had nothing to do with the prank, as he merely tagged along, while his other companion documented the prank for his vlog.

Hallazgo promised not to pull off another prank in public like that again, and asked other vloggers not to follow his bad example.

Shortly before his arrest, he responded to one of his followers who dared him to spend a life in prison for his next vlog. Hallazgo replied: "I can, but not in PH jails. Jails here sucks (sic) so bad, (and) so I won't."

In September 2020, Valenzuela City police arrested and filed complaints against four men for alarm and scandal after they pulled a prank in their neighborhood that they planned to upload on social media. The prank involved one of them kept inside a sack for people to see, pretending to be dead.

Prank videos are common among Youtubers, with the more popular ones raking in millions of views for outrageous pranks done in public. – Rappler.com