An Australian tourist and his two female companions have been arrested for writing the word “bombing” on a Cebu City hotel room mirror.
Police arrested Jamie Allan Morgan, aged 48, Carmiel Pasco, 19, and Myla Tugbong, 20, after hotel housekeeper Nicanor Negre discovered the writing when she went in to clean the room on Sunday (April 29).
Chief Inspector Maria Theresa Macatangay, head of Fuente police, said: “The housekeeper was shocked, so she called the security manager who immediately alerted us of what they discovered.
“We were at the height of our preparations for the arrival of President Rodrigo Duterte so it really caused alarm.”
An Army bomb squad was called to search the room while hotel guests and employees were evacuated.
“The room was clean and the bomb squad didn’t find anything. But of course, we treated it seriously,” Macatangay said.
At 8pm, Morgan was arrested while the two women were were taken into custody in a follow-up operation outside the hotel on Escario Street, Barangay Kamputhaw.
Macatangay said that Morgan admitted scrawling the word just for fun, but forgot to erase it.
“We had his background checked in the Interpol and he doesn’t have any derogatory records. But again, the incident caused panic to the public,” Macatangay said.
The three will face charges for violation of Section 1, or Presidential Decree 1727, the Anti-Bomb Joke Law, and for alarm and scandal under the Revised Penal Code.
Morgan is not the first foreign visitor to the Philippines to fall foul of this law. Last June we reported that an Italian tourist was arrested after cracking a bomb joke at Boracay’s Kalibo Airport.
Christiano de Angeles, 40, requested a flight rebooking at an Air Asia check-in counter and became frustrated when told about the extra fees. Then, when he was asked what he was carrying in his bag, he told staff he had a bomb.
Previously, in August 2015, we reported how 50-year-old Filipina Daisy David Medallon fell foul of the presidential decree at Manila’s NAIA airport.
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