MANILA — Blogger Drew Olivar will face charges for spreading a bomb scare on social media, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said Monday.
In a press conference in Camp Crame, PNP chief Director General Oscar Albayalde said Olivar will be facing charges for violating Presidential Decree 1727, known as the “Anti-Bomb Joke Law”.
“I think Drew Olivar has learned his lesson and he will be charged for violation of PD 1727 or the (Anti-Bomb Joke Law). Hindi lang siya ma-arrest during that time it’s because nangyari medyo matagal na (He wasn’t arrested immediately because he posted the joke quite some time ago) but he will be formally charged for violation of 1727,” Albayalde told reporters.
In a Facebook post on Friday, Olivar warned that a bombing in Edsa similar to what occurred in Plaza Miranda in 1971 might happen.
During the 46th anniversary of the declaration of martial law on the same day, protest rallies were held in Plaza Miranda, Mendiola and Rizal Park in the City of Manila, not on Edsa.
Under the law, anyone who will make a bomb joke may face a fine of not more than PHP40,000. He or she may also be imprisoned for not more than five years, depending on the court’s decision if a case is filed.
The PNP chief did not detail when the charges will be filed but National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) director Chief Supt. Guillermo Eleazar said they will file charges as soon as possible.
On Saturday, Olivar, together with Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson, appeared at a press conference at NCRPO headquarters in Taguig.
He apologized for his act and maintained that it was not his intention to scare the public and spread fake information.
Authorities have generally been strict about implementing the presidential decree and treat jokes and similar statements about bombs seriously.
Olivar earlier drew flak from netizens after he was seen mimicking the sign language and making sounds in an apparent imitation of mute people.
Meanwhile, the Department of Justice (DOJ) will await a formal endorsement of findings by the PNP in connection with the complaint against Olivar.
“For now, the DOJ will just wait for the action of the police on the matter,” Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said in a message sent to newsmen.
The NCRPO earlier said Olivar’s case will be referred to the DOJ. With reports from Benjamin Pulta/PNA-northboundasia.com