BULLET-PLANTING EXTORT SCHEME

Ombudsman urged to probe airport officials

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Sen. Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. on Satrurday urged the Office of the Ombudsman to investigate Manila International Airport Authority General Manager Jose Angel Honrado and other ranking airport officials for the possible liability of failing to stop the “Tanim-Bala” extortion scheme.

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Marcos aired the call amidst suspicions of a cover-up raised against the findings of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) into the “Tanim-Bala” incidents.

Based on the NBI findings, criminal charges were filed against 6 airport security personnel, but the report denied the existence of an organized “Tanim-Bala” syndicate operating in the airports.

“By saying there is no syndicate, the NBI report practically exonerated ranking airport officials such as Honrado from any culpability in the “Tanim-Bala” scheme. I think it’s time for the Ombudsman to conduct its own investigation,” Marcos recommended.

Marcos, who earlier urged Malacañang to sack Honrado cited that on its own the Ombudsman has the power to investigate any public official or employee when his acts or omission “appears to be illegal, unjust, improper or inefficient”.

“I think the numerous reports about this reprehensible operandus would be enough for the Ombudsman to come in and investigate,” Marcos opined.

Marcos assessed that the NBI findings are suspicious because they seem to coincide with the statement earlier made by President Aquino who had doused reports of an organized “Tanim-Bala” syndicate citing statistics showing that only three out of 34 million passengers that pass through the airports annually complained of the scheme.

Marcos had warned that such Presidential statement would cast a cloud of doubt on any result of the NBI investigation of the “Tanim-Bala” incidents which were still on-going at that time.

“Malacañang’s penchant for immediately coming to the defense of its allies, friends or relatives hinders the effort to rid our airports of scalawag preying on the weak, elderly and our Overseas Filipino Workers,” Marcos concluded.

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