Got a tip? Send it to us at email@example.com.
Malacañang on Sun, Sep 27, assured air passengers that they need not worry amid allegations that some airport personnel had extorted money from passengers by planting bullets in luggage.
In a radio interview, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said the so-called “laglag-bala” modus is an isolated incident at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
Investigation is also underway to punish any liable personnel.
“Ito ay isang isolated case lamang at hindi naman dapat ikabahala. Hindi mag-aatubili ang pamahalaan na panagutin ang sinumang kawani na mapapatunayang sangkot sa nasabing isyu,” Coloma said.
Tourist Michael White was detained for five days by airport police for allegedly concealing a bullet in his checked-in baggage, which was discovered at the X-ray scanner area of NAIA Terminal 4.
The 20-year-old foreigner denied knowledge of how the .22 caliber bullet got inside his luggage. White alleged that a male security personnel told him that his problem will be settled for PHP30,000.
Two bullets were also mysteriously found at the luggage of a wheelchair-bound balikbayan who reportedly had to pay P500 to the airport security personnel to be allowed to depart the country.
Coloma said inquiries have already been launched by the Office of Transport Security, Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) and Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) regarding the incidents.
The official added that the MIAA continues to strive in tightening security measures at the NAIA, while the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines has made similar efforts for other airports across the country.
Malacañang is leaving it up to Congress to decide if it will initiate a separate probe on the “laglag-bala” issue.
This article has been re-published with permission from ABS-CBNnews.com.