A PARTY-LIST congressman was held late Thursday afternoon by aviation police authorities at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal II for allegedly making a bomb joke.
APEC party list Rep. Sergio Dagooc was temporarily prevented from leaving the Philippine Airlines (PAL) Centennial Terminal after allegedly saying there was a bomb in his bag.
“Hindi po totoo na (nag-bomb joke ako). Baka hindi kami nagkaintindihan (ng babae sa counter) kasi magkaiba ang tunog ng Visaya at Tagalog,” said Dagooc, who speaks with a Visayan accent, in an interview.
Dagooc explained he had “money bands” in his hand carry bag, which could have been misconstrued as “bomb” by a lady attendant in the check-in counter when asked why his bag was heavy.
He did not elaborate how much money he had carried in his bag.
“Nag-exceed kasi ang weight ng hand carry bag ko from maximum seven kilos to 11 kilos,” said Dagooc, who was allowed to take his flight later.
The lawmaker said he would issue his official statement to clarify the incident.
“Hindi ko rin ginamit ang posisyon ko bilang congressman. Wala silang alam na House member ako dahil hindi naman ako nagpakilala,” Dagooc clarified.
While the constitutional provision on parliamentary immunity does not spare a legislator from being liable for criminal offenses with penalty of six years imprisonment and below, any senator or congressman cannot be arrested while Congress is in session.
Presidential Decree No. 1727 or the anti-bomb joke law provides five years imprisonment or a fine of P40,000 or both, depending on the court’s ruling.
Earlier, Ang Probinsyano party-list first nominee, Rep. Alfred Delos Santos allegedly threw a punch at Christian Kent Alejo, an employee at Biggs Diner in Old Albay District, Legazpi City.
Alejo evaded the attack that was allegedly made without no reason. The congressman later apologized to the victim.