Is Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya proud that his agency has made the headlines again. It’s not about another Metro Rail Transit train breaking down again, which is no longer news.
It’s about the Office of Transportation Security (OTS), a branch of the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) tasked with security in some areas at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
Several OTS personnel are clearly involved in the so-called “Laglag-Bala” extortion racket at NAIA terminals which has victimized a number of travelers, including foreigners.
The modus is exactly the same as that employed by unscrupulous cops who plant illegal drugs in the person or persons they arrest.
At NAIA, the crooks at the arrival and departure areas simply slip a “live bullet” instead of drugs inside the airline passenger’s belongings prior to x-ray inspection.
Of course, the metal object seen through the x-ray would be cause for physical search and, wella, you have a case of “illegal possession of live ammunition.”
This was the modus 20-year-old American Lane Michael White was subjected to when he arrived last September 13 on his way to visit his Filipino family and friends in Palawan.
White, who turned out to be a Christian missionary, said a security officer pulled out a .22 caliber bullet from the pocket of his luggage after repeatedly scanning it on the X-ray machine.
During their conversation, the security personnel told him that his problem will be settled for P30,000 but White insisted that he is innocent.
‘’God endured the pain when he was being whipped at the cross and if I need to be detained for six days and bitten by ants, mosquitoes, bugs, so be it,” said the missionary.
Abaya and the rest of the official First Family of Noynoy Aquino ought to be proud for yet another milestone in the areas of transportation, tourism and human rights .
This is the problem when crooks at all levels of the governments operate with impunity.
Kahit ano’ng gusto nilang gawin para rumaket, gagawin nila kahit kanino.
“Kung dala po namin yun, paano po yun makakalusot ng Jacksonville Airport which is a military airport?” White’s stepmom Iloisa cried.
It turned out White’s case is not an isolated one.
Filipino-American Rhed Austria de Guzman also complained of a similar experience, which she posted on Facebook, which has been shared over 70,000 times and counting.
She said a NAIA Terminal 2 OTS staff asked her for P500 so he would not squeal on her after finding two bullets in her baggage through the x-ray machine.
The wheelchair-bound De Guzman vehemently denied owning the bullets but said she decided to hand him the P500 bribe so she won’t miss her flight back abroad.
At least two airport employees were relieved from duty pending investigation.
Airport sources disclosed that the so-called ‘’Laglag Bala’’ modus has been done for years. “May butaw po yan sa mga opisyal,” one insider source said.
Before the latest cases were exposed, these culprits were reportedly planning to prey on delegates to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meetings.
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Wang Bo coddler eyes bi post
What’s this I heard that one of the Bureau of Immigration (BI) officials who coddled notorious fugitive Wang Bo is being groomed by Malacañang to replace the straight-going Commissioner Siegfred Mison?
This followed Justice Secretary Leila de Lima’s announcement of her resignation from her post prior to announcing her senatorial bid. The BI is an attached agency of the Department of Justice (DOJ).
Mison’s departure and the arrival of a gambling lord coddler commissioner may yet signal BI’s return to its old glory of corruption that rivals that of the Bureau of Customs.
So much for matuwid na daan program of good governance. Bad guys back, good guys out of BI.
The crook who will take over BI is said to be a rabid Liberal Party fund raiser, who will welcome back extortionists, fixers and human traffickers at BI.
“Happy days are here again,” ika nga. Merry X’mas!