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Albay gov warns public anew vs bomb jokes

By Connie Calipay

LEGAZPI CITY --- The Albay provincial government has reminded the public to avoid telling jokes that may threaten public safety and security.

Albay Governor Edcel Grex Lagman issued his reminder on Tuesday following the report of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) on Monday that 12 flights were affected by a bomb joke at the Bicol International Airport (BIA) in Daraga town.

The governor said he supports the ongoing investigation of the CAAP and other concerned agencies about the incident.

“The PGA (Provincial Government of Albay) is 100 percent with the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines in making sure the perpetrators are identified,” he said in an interview.

“Jokes are meant to be funny, not scary. We will let the CAAP investigate and we are ready to help. May mga hindi nakarating sa pupuntahan (Some people were unable to reach their destinations) like meetings and family events so we don’t want it to happen again,” he added.

Lagman, who is a lawyer, said making “bomb” notes and jokes is a violation of the law and carries with it stiff sanctions.

“I will personally extend legal assistance to the prosecutorial arm of the state here in Albay in ensuring that the one responsible for this suffers the full penalty of imprisonment of not more than five years or a fine of PHP40,000. or both,” he said.

According to a CAAP report, Cebu Pacific (CEB) Flight 5J 326, carrying 130 passengers, was supposed to take off at 10:45 a.m. on Monday but a paper with the word “bomb” written on it was found inside the aircraft lavatory.

A probe was conducted by security authorities, resulting in the delay of five outbound and five inbound CEB flights.

A Philippine Airlines flight was diverted back to Manila as the BIA runway was closed temporarily while a Manila-bound PAL flight was also affected. (PNA)


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