Local airlines at NAIA seek help from MIAA, CAAP and PNP-AVSEGROUP how to end bomb joke)

Local airlines operating at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) are asking the airport authorities including PNP-AVSEGROUP if it is lawful to ban any person especially air passengers caught making fun of “bomb joke” in any form from any international and domestic flights?

Philippine Airlines (PAL), Cebu Pacific Air (CEB), AirAsia Philippines operating at NAIA Terminals are seeking the help of the Philippine National Police Aviation Security Group (PNP-AVSEGROUP), the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) to possibly how to end the public especially air travelers from making fun of “bomb joke”.

The airlines said that the airlines suffered most by the bomb joke as it has a domino effect to their flight schedules, (nasisira ang schedules ng mga airlines).

PAL spokesperson Cielo Villaluna and Carmina Romero, that the airlines suffered most as all passengers on board the aircraft will ask to disembark including the check-in luggage for intensive paneling from bomb sniffing dogs while passengers will undergo body search.

Villaluna and Romero said that from the time a bomb joke was known by cabin crew they will immediately notify the pilot-in-command and relayed the threat to AVSEGROUP as the police will immediately order the pilot to place the plane in the remote parking as the passengers will also be ask to disembark with their hand-carry and the checked in luggage will also be brought out of the aircraft for thorough inspection.

The inspection will take about two to three hours before the police give a go signal to resume flight if they find nothing serious.

PNP-AVSEGROUP investigation Chief Col. Gary Reyes said yesterday making “bomb jokes or bomb threat” under Presidential Decree 1727 carry a penalty of imprisonment for up to five (5) years or a fine of up to P40,000 or both.

These laws define the serious consequences of making false bomb threats or engaging in activities that disrupt airport operations and security.

The threat was determined in the forms of written, through testing or even through anonymous call. Bomb threats are also punishable under the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 (Republic Act 11479) with penalty of 12 years of imprisonment.

The airlines are asking for more stiffer penalties as the airport authorities renewed their call after a bomb scare was done at the Bicol International Airport (BIA) on October 2, 2023 Monday morning where Cebu Pacific cabin crew found a note in a piece of paper bearing “bomb” at the aircraft’s lavatory tissue compartment causing security alertness and affecting 10 flights of Cebu Pacific in BIA, as a precautionary measure CAAP ordered the runway at BIA has been temporarily closed to all flights until the situation is resolved.

10 flights of Cebu Pacific Air (arriving and departing) were affected by a bomb joke and a Philippine Airlines flight from Manila were asked to turn around due to the incident in accordance with security protocols while the 130 passengers on board were investigated.

Last August 18, 2023 PNP-AVSEGROUP and Airport Police arrested two international departing passengers at Terminal 1 and 3 after they were identified sending an alleged bomb threat via text messaging to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) hotline in violation of PD 1727 otherwise known as Malicious dissemination of false information or the willful making of any threat concerning bomb explosives or any similar devices.

Rudy Santos

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