Blogger Drew Olivar’s ‘bomb scare’ post blows up in his face
Published @ 7:46 p.m., Sept. 22, 2018 | Updated @ 12:29 a.m., Sept. 23, 2018
This time around, a Facebook post by blogger Andrew “Drew” Olivar about an alleged bomb plot exploded in his face.
The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) will “possibly” file a criminal complaint against pro-Duterte blogger Andrew “Drew” Olivar because of his alleged “bomb scare” post on Facebook last Thursday, the eve of the 46th anniversary of the declaration of martial law by late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
Director Guillermo Eleazar, NCRPO chief, told reporters on Saturday they were “checking” if Olivar violated Presidential Decree 1727, in relation to Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 (Republic Act No. 10195).
Plaza Miranda reminder
PD 1721, which was signed on Oct. 8, 1980, by then President Ferdinand Marcos, declares as illegal “the malicious dissemination of false information or willful making of any threat concerning bombs, explosives or any similar device or means of destruction.”
Violators of this court, once convicted, are sentenced to a prison term of not more than 5 years or ordered to pay a P40,000 fine – or both.
Doing it online, in violation of RA 10195, makes the penalty a degree higher.
On Thursday, Olivar posted on Facebook: “Ayyy, nakakatakot naman magrally sa Edsa, kasi may kumakalat na baka maulit daw yung pagbomba kagaya ng Plaza Miranda!! Kung ako sa inyo hindi ako pupunta.” Eleazar the next day branded this as false, clarifying there were no verified bomb threats in the metro.
He was referring to the Aug. 21, 1971, bombing at Plaza Miranda in Quiapo, Manila, during a political campaign rally of the Liberal Party. Nine people were killed and 95 others were injured, including several prominent LP front-runners in that year’s elections.
Olivar explains side at NCRPO
On Saturday, Olivar submitted himself to the NCRPO headquarters in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig, to explain. He was accompanied by Presidential Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson, his friend and fellow DDS blogger (Diehard Duterte Supporter).
Eleazar said the police took down Olivar’s statement and would let the Regional Investigation and Detective Management Decision conduct its own probe, which would end “within the week.”
He noted that they only need to prove that elements of a crime were present before they would recommend filing of charges before the prosecutors of the Department of Justice.
In contrast to his outgoing and vociferous persona on his blog, Olivar on Satuday addressed the media with slow-paced, low-toned and less verbose statements.
“I have no intention to incite fear among the Filipinos, especially that the rallies yesterday were not just attended by the yellows (referring to supporters of the Liberal Party), but also DDS,” Olivar said in Filipino. “I am just responding to the invitation of DDS, that no, I will not be attending because of the bomb threat.”
His post was just a reminder for the DDS to “take care of themselves,” Olivar explained.
“I am also a father. It’s just like a father asking his child to take care,” he said.
Apologizes but maintains innocence
Olivar maintained his innocence, saying what he did was not really wrong.
“Baka ang sabihin ng iba, kapag nag-sorry ako, na talagang inamin kong nagkamali ako, na sinadya ko. Nag-sorry lang ako kung may mga na-alaarma ako o iba ang pagkaintindi sa sinabi ko,” he said.
[Some may say that because I said I’m sorry I’m admitting that I did something wrong, something deliberation. I only said sorry because there were some who were alarmed or had a different understanding of what I said.]
Olivar said his post was based on “similar posts on social media” he had been reading since Sept. 8, following the consecutive bombings in Mindanao.
He admitted, however, that he did not report such threats to proper authorities, because he was “too focused on communicating on social media and busy handling other matters.”
“I am just a normal Filipino who has no connections, who do not know any PO1 [police officer 1, the lowest police rank].”
Asked if Olivar was being given favor, Eleazar denied the accusation.
“There is no special treatment for him,” he said. “It was him who volunteered to go here.”
“We want it investigated immediately so we can also file cases,” he added. “This just shows that there are no sacred cows in NCRPO, whether the accused are rich or poor, or even supporters of President Duterte.”
For her part, Uson who vowed to “be more active in guiding” Olivar after they drew flak for mocking the sign language, she said she was not initially aware of Olivar’s post.
“But when I asked him, he said it was his expression of fear for his and his friend’s lives,” Uson said. “I also immediately reported it to General Eleazar so we know if he violated any law. This will also serve as a call for other social media users to be more careful in posting [unverified] information.”
On Thursday, the Philippine Federation of the Deaf filed a complaint against Uson and Bolivar for violating the Magna Carta for the Disabled Persons over a video they posted on social media.
In August, the two bloggers gained notoriety in social media after their supposed federalism awareness video backfired.
Bolivar, during an online show of Uson, sang and danced to his “i-Pepederalismo” number, chanting “i-pepe” and “i-dede” while making gestures over his crotch and chest.
Advocates and lawmakers, even those belonging to the camp of PDP-Laban of President Duterte Rodrigo called it vulgar and lewd.
Also last month, Vice President Leni Robredo mulled filing charges after a video of Olivar, taken in April 2017, showed the blogger repeatedly cursing her and claimed she slept around when she went to South Africa to speak before a conference for women and a roundtable discussion on corruption with the parliament.
On Sept. 22, 2017, Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV filed administrative and criminal complaints before the Office of the Ombudsman against Uson for spreading “fake news” initiated by the President about his offshore bank accounts in Singapore.
Trillanes disproved the allegation by flying to Singapore where the banks confirmed he had no existing bank accounts.
The President later admitted he just invented the supposed bank account numbers. /atm
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