Ilocos Norte

Case vs bomb-joking foreigner in Laoag airport dismissed

John Michael Mugas

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Case vs bomb-joking foreigner in Laoag airport dismissed

LAOAG AIRPORT. Returning Ilocos Norte residents and tourists land in Laoag International Airport.

John Michael Mugas

Police say the bomb joke by a foreign tourist did not result in panic, and sow public confusion and disorder

ILOCOS NORTE, Philippines – The criminal case filed against a 70-year-old foreigner who cracked a “bomb joke” while inside the Laoag International Airport (LIA) has been dismissed, authorities said Friday, January 5.

Police Major Darwin Ocon of LIA’s Aviation Security Group (ASG) said in an interview with Bombo Radyo Laoag that the gist of the prosecution’s decision was although the foreigner cracked the bomb joke, it did not result in panic, and sow public confusion and disorder.

On Wednesday night, the Dutch, who went on vacation in Santa Maria, Ilocos Sur province, was supposed to embark with her family on a connecting flight to return to her home country, Ocon said.

She was earlier identified by authorities as Mary Evelyn Dolor Neuen.

She was not allowed to board the flight after she told a screening officer that she had a bomb in her luggage while it was being checked. She admitted later on that it was only a joke, said Ocon.

The foreigner was detained for around three days at a LIA facility as she underwent inquest proceedings before the prosecutor’s office.

Vital installation

Ocon said they were bound by duty not to ignore the joke of the foreigner as LIA is a “vital installation.”

Kapag may nangyaring gulo diyan, may sumabog at may namatay, hindi na natin maibabalik ‘yung buhay at pinsala, kaya hindi tayo nag-atubiling sampahan ng kaso,” emphasized Ocon. (If a situation erupted where something exploded and people died, we cannot bring back the lives and damage done, which is why we did not hesitate to file a case.)

What happened should serve as a warning to individuals not to crack bomb jokes in public areas, such as in airports, as it could result in widespread panic and compromise the safety of travelers.

Cracking bomb jokes in all types of transportation in the country is considered a criminal offense punished by Presidential Decree 1727, also known as Anti-Bomb Joke Law.

The law penalizes making bomb jokes and bomb threats with penalties that include up to five years in prison, a fine of up to P40,000, or both. –

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