Cebu News

Painter arrested for bomb joke

Michael Vencynth H. Braga - The Freeman

6th to be detained this month 

CEBU, Philippines - Another man joined the list of persons arrested in Cebu City for making bomb jokes.

Security guards of a university turned over Ismael Momo, 29, of Sitio Banawa in Barangay Guadalupe to the police yesterday morning. He was a construction painter and was on the first day of his job.

Senior Inspector Dexter Basirgo, chief of the Parian Police Station, said security guards detailed at the gate of the university’s gym asked Momo to submit his bag for inspection, but he allegedly hesitated to do so and refused to write his name on the logbook.

Instead, Momo allegedly told the guards that the bag contained a bomb.

This prompted the guards to distance themselves from Momo and called the personnel of the Special Weapons and Tactics team.

The responding SWAT personnel found no explosives in Momo’s backpack, which contained toiletries, radio, and food.

Basirgo advises the public to refrain from making the same act, especially in public areas like schools, where a stampede can happen.

He explained that mere joking about the presence of a bomb in their bags already violates Presidential Decree 1727 known as the anti-bomb joke law.

The incident, however, did not create panic among students of the university, he added.

Sought for comment, Momo could only cover his face with his towel and cry, asking for forgiveness.

Like the other arrested persons, Momo said he did not know that his act is prohibited.

Momo is the sixth person taken into custody for allegedly making bomb jokes in Cebu City since September 9.

Last Monday, a woman was arrested for allegedly cracking a bomb joke at the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center.

Police placed under their custody Emily Baclaan, 32, resident of Barangay Tuyan, Naga City.

Last September 9, police arrested Jasmin Sala, a production worker from Mandaue City, for dropping a bomb joke at a mall in Cebu City.

On September 12, Carl John Sacal, 19, was arrested by police for allegedly making a bomb joke at another mall along B. Rodriguez Street, Cebu City.

Two days after, a 15-year-old student was also taken into custody by security officers of a mall for allegedly dropping a bomb joke. He was later released by the mall management.

The next day, Janelle Camacho was arrested for making a bomb joke at a department store along Colon Street.

PD 1727 prohibits the malicious dissemination of false information or making threats about presence of bombs, explosives, and incendiary devices. (FREEMAN)

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