3 arrested in Davao for bomb jokes

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 11 Sep) – Police arrested three persons here for telling bomb jokes last week, a few days after the explosion occurred at the night market along Roxas Avenue where 14 people died and 70 others injured last September 2.

Davao City Police Office (DCPO) spokesperson Senior Insp. Catherine dela Rey said that Christian S. Onggona is detained at the Calinan Police Station while Trichel S. Mejares and Montessa A. Doblas, at the Sta. Ana Police Station.

She said Onggona has been charged for violating Presidential Decree (PD) 1727 while charges have been readied for Megares and Doblas.

PD 1727 declares as “unlawful the malicious dissemination of false information of the willful making of any threat concerning bombs, explosives or any similar device or means of destruction.”

Section 1 states that any person who violated the law will be subject to five years of imprisonment, or a fine of not more than P40,000 or both.

Dela Rey reiterated her appeal to the public to “stop making prank calls, bomb joke, and avoid spreading rumors regarding bomb threats which can create panic or chaos that may result to injuries and/or damage to properties.”

She said the Davao City Police Office chief, Senior Supt. Michael John Dubria, assured that they are doing their best to keep the city safe and secure.

Dubria is still subject for replacement after Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio requested for his relief and that of former Task Force Davao commander Col. Henry Robinson after the September 2 bombing.

Last Thursday, new Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMinCom) chief of staff Col. Erwin Bernard Neri replaced Col. Robinson while Mayor Duterte is awaiting the list of senior officials from Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Ronald dela Rosa as to who may replace Dubria.

Last September 6, a bomb threat suspended classes at the University of Southeastern Philippines (USEP) in Barrio Obrero and USEP Mintal while St. John Paul II College also got the same bomb threat the following day.

All schools were immediately cleared of threats.

Police Regional Office (PRO) 11 deputy director Senior Supt. Valeriano de Leon told a press conference Wednesday last week at the Royal Mandaya Hotel that they are always on high guard and assured the public of safety.

He linked the bombing to narcoterrorism involving politicians publicly named by President Rodrigo R. Duterte as being involved in drugs. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)