Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has urged the Office of the Ombudsman to investigate Manila International Airport Authority General Manager Jose Angel Honrado and other ranking airport officials for possible liability in failing to stop the alleged (bullet-planting) extortion scam.
Marcos aired the call on Monday amid suspicions of a cover-up of the extortion scam by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), which had investigated the alleged racket.
Based on an NBI report, criminal charges were filed against six airport security personnel but the report denied existence of an organized syndicate engaging in the extortion scam in the country’s airports.
“By saying there is no syndicate, the NBI report practically exonerated ranking airport officials such as Honrado from any culpability in the [bullet-planting] scheme. I think it is time for the Ombudsman to conduct its own investigation,” Marcos recommended.
The senator, who earlier urged Malacañang to sack Honrado, said the Ombudsman’s office on its own has the power to investigate any public official or employee when his acts of omission “appear to be illegal, unjust, improper or inefficient.”
“I think the numerous reports about this reprehensible [racket]would be enough for the Ombudsman to come in and investigate,” Marcos said.
Marcos described the NBI findings as suspicious because they seem to coincide with the statement earlier made by President Benigno Aquino 3rd who had doused reports of an organized bullet-planting syndicate, citing statistics showing that only three out of 34 million passengers who pass through the airports annually complain of the alleged extortion scam.
Marcos had warned that the President’s statement would cast a cloud of doubt on the NBI investigation.
“Malacañang’s penchant for immediately coming to the defense of its allies, friends or relatives hinders the effort to rid our airports of scalawags preying on the weak, elderly and our overseas Filipino workers,” he said.