Teen nabbed over bomb joke on plane

Posted at 09/23/11 8:16 PM

GENERAL SANTOS CITY, Philippines -  Airport police in General Santos City took into custody an 18-year-old man after he joked that there was a bomb in his luggage on a Cebu Pacific flight from Manila on Thursday.

Kenneth Batas was quick to regret the joke as he was questioned by authorities regarding his statement.

He later apologized to local aviation authorities and his fellow passengers.

"Sabi ko, sorry po, joke lang po 'yun," he said. "Humihingi po ako ng sorry sa lahat ng naabala ko at hindi ko po alam ang batas na 'yun."

Batas was released Friday morning.

Aviation officials said they will wait for Cebu Pacific to decide if the airline will file a formal complaint.

They reminded airline passengers anew against cracking jokes about bombs or terrorist attacks on airplanes.

Meanwhile, Cebu Pacific flight 5J 994 from General Santos to Manila was delayed for 45 minutes Friday due to extended ground servicing, according to the airline company.

The truck refueling the aircraft was reported to have a defective nozzle, resulting in a fuel spill at the ramp, Cebu Pacific  said in a statement.
It added that the aircraft finally left for Manila at 10:30 a.m.

"All 145 passengers have boarded the aircraft safely," the airline said. "CEB apologizes for any inconvenience this may have caused our guests. Safety remains to be CEB's main priority."