Dad urges cops, mall: File case against woman arrested for bomb joke
A CEBU City councilor is encouraging the management of Robinsons Place Cebu and the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) to pursue the charges against the 37-year-old woman who made a bomb joke at the uptown mall last Friday.
“A case should be filed against the woman to teach everyone a lesson and to discourage others to do likewise,” said Cebu City Councilor Dave Tumulak in a phone interview yesterday.
Just recently, Tumulak, chairman of the Cebu City Council’s Committee on Peace and Order and the deputy mayor for police matters, said a bomb joke is not an ordinary offense because it causes panic among the public and inconveniences even agencies of government.
“When there’s a bomb joke, all law enforcement offices are alerted. It can hamper a lot of operations,” he said.
Tumulak advised the public not to make bomb jokes or they too would be arrested.
“Bomb jokes create fear. Instead of making jokes like that, people should be more vigilant,” he said.
Jasmin Sala, production worker from Mandaue City, was arrested for dropping a bomb joke at Robinsons Place Cebu past 11 a.m. on Friday.
Accompanied by a female companion, Sala had her sling bag checked by a security guard at the mall’s entrance before walking away saying “Naa ra ba ni bomba (There’s a bomb inside my bag).”
She smiled, told the guard she was just joking and proceeded to a photo studio to have an ID photo taken as requirement for a visa application.
After about 20 minutes, when she got her ID photos, the mall’s head security officer approached and invited her for questioning at the establishment’s office.
She was eventually turned over to the custody of the police.
Sala’s bag didn’t contain any explosives. Inside her bag were a lipstick, makeup and a cell phone.
Sala, a resident of Bacatan Compound in Barangay Tipolo, Mandaue City, sobbed hard, saying she regretted making the bomb joke.
Sala, who early on separated with her husband, appealed to the police to release her, saying there’s no one who could take care of her two children aged two and 12.
Police said they would file charges against Sala for violating Presidential Decree (PD) 1727, often referred to as the Bomb Joke Law.
The law provides for a jail term of up to five years and a fine of up to P40,000 for violators found guilty by the court.
Supt. Ryan Devaras, head of the CCPO’s Investigation, Detection and Management Branch said the police will pursue the charges against Sala with or without the support of the management of Robinsons Place Cebu.
Sala is currently detained at the CCPO stockade.
Early this week, a text message alleging that the bandit group Abu Sayyaf was planning to bomb malls in Cebu spread among mobile phone users in the city and caused fear among a number of people.
Chief Supt. Noli Taliño, director of the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7), appealed to the public to stay calm but to be vigilant.
Both the PRO-7 and the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ Central Command (Centcom) have been placed under full alert status immediately after the explosion in a night market in Davao City last Sept. 2.
Taliño has ordered random checkpoints and sent additional policemen alongside troops from Centcom to patrol the vicinity of malls, ports, airport, markets, churches and other crowded places.
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