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April Fools’ Day ‘bomb joke’ sends man to jail

A man was arrested after cracking a “bomb joke” before entering a mall in Caloocan City on Saturday night, April Fools’ Day.

Senior Supt. Chito G. Bersaluna, Caloocan Police chief, identified the suspect as Haroeh Lagat, 20, a factory worker, of Malabon City.

Investigation showed Lagat was about to enter a mall in Monumento, Caloocan, at about 7:50 p.m. when he told a guard that he was carrying a bomb while his bag was being checked.

Probers said the security guard took the joke seriously and immediately reported the matter to Caloocan Police Station.

Caloocan Police sent a team who arrested Lagat after a brief chase.

Lagat told probers that he has no bomb and was only pulling a prank because it’s April Fools’ Day. But his excuse, Bersaluna said, is unacceptable, saying “bomb jokes” are strictly prohibited under the law.

Bersaluna said that the case of Lagat should serve as a reminder to those who love to crack “bomb jokes” in public.

“I am hoping that this will serve as a lesson to everyone. Cracking a bomb joke is not funny. Authorities will take it seriously when they hear such because it’s a threat against innocent lives,” Bersaluna said.

Police said Lagat will face charges for violating Presidential Decree 1727 also known as the “Bomb Joke Law.”

Lagat will either be imprisoned for about five years or pay a fine of about P40, 000. The offense is bailable, according to police.

He is currently detained at Caloocan Police Station. (JEL SANTOS)

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