• MIAA revokes personnel’s’ access passes

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    AUTHORITIES on Tuesday revoked the access passes of four people implicated in the recent “bullet-planting” incident at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA). The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) has cancelled the access passes of Excellent Services wheelchair attendant Nino Namba; Office for Transportation Security (OTS) screeners Ferdinand B. Morales and Fatti Dame M. Go, as well as Philippine National Police – Aviation Security Group (Avsegroup) PO1 Dante Corpuz. Namba was tagged as the negotiator for extortion, who demanded money for the immediate release of a septuagenarian couple after their carry-on bag yielded a bullet during a routine inspection at the NAIA 1 final security check. The couple – Salvacion, 75, and Esteban Cortabista, 78, who missed their flight to Los Angeles, California, USA – disowned the bullet, saying that the initial security check, where they also passed, found no bullet in their bag. Namba, an airport security personnel, said, was nowhere to be found after the incident. The latest case of the septuagenarian couple gave rise to suspicions that the bullet planting scam is back in business. Meanwhile, Namba’s colleague has bared the ill-effect of the tanim-bala controversy after being shunned by passengers since the implication of Namba in the extortion case. The latest incident, they said, has also caused a decrease of passengers, mostly senior citizens, availing of wheelchair services. They said those making use of wheelchair services dramatically decreased by 50 percent after the incident went viral. “Dati, kumikita kami ng P500 kada araw sa tip. Dahil sa sa insidente, swerte na kung may P300 na tip kang maiuuwi,” [Before, the lowest tip we received was P500 per day. Because of the incident, we are lucky if we can have P300 as tip in a day],” a wheelchair attendant who spoke on condition of anonymity said. Meanwhile, the Avsegroup announced that measures have been implemented to deter instances of bullet planting. Avsegroup chief, C/Supt. Pablo Francisco Balagtas said that “among others, the ‘no touch’ policy is being adopted by the Office for Transportation Office for its security screeners. As such, only passengers are allowed to handle their baggage and go through their items during screening procedures.” Balagtas said that in cases of bullet interceptions, passengers found with live bullets are made to undergo further investigation. He added “bullets with incomplete components, on the other hand, are confiscated and passengers are allowed to board their flight.”

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