• Roxas: Bullet carriers came from shooting ranges


    That’s how presidential candidate Manuel A. Roxas 2nd tried to explain away the raging “tanim-bala” controversy in an interview with reporters the other day in Cauayan City, Isabela. He cited statistics from the transport and communications department showing many of those caught with bullets at the airport came from firing ranges and forgot to dispose of their rounds before going to the airport.

    Roxas used to be intelligent as former President Arroyo’s trade and industry secretary, even if that didn’t really shine through, what with his mediocre performance there. But he seems to have imbibed after five years the dull-wittedness of this Administration – either that, or the belief of its leader Benigno Aquino 3rd that Filipinos are so stupid and gullible is true.

    The statistics cited by Roxas don’t even exist. He must have confused the report on the annual number of incidents claimed by the DOTC with the incredible news account that a Japanese tourist admitted he forgot to leave behind the bullets he had placed in his jacket at the firing range.

    That Roxas even blurted out the claim that those caught with bullets in their baggage came from shooting ranges is hilarious.

    Has the expensive sport of shooting (a reloaded bullet costs P50 easily) become so popular in the Philippines that we wouldn’t find it odd for a 65-year old female OFW, a grandmother on a wheelchair, and an American missionary to indulge in such a hobby before rushing to catch a flight at the airport?

    Another gem from Roxas’ mind on this controversy: “Is this a plot to destroy the government’s image, especially now that that we’re about to host the APEC?” he asked rhetorically.

    Blown out of proportion? Still shots from video of a Japanese TV show with a skit demonstrating how the tanim-bala extortion racket operates, with instructions on how to avoid it. (Video on http://manila.coconuts.co/2015/11/05/vira-japanese-tv-show-re-enacts-laglag-bala-scam.)

    Blown out of proportion? Still shots from video of a Japanese TV show with a skit demonstrating how the tanim-bala extortion racket operates, with instructions on how to avoid it. (Video on http://manila.coconuts.co/2015/11/05/vira-japanese-tv-show-re-enacts-laglag-bala-scam.)

    That’s the conspiracy theory attempted to be disseminated by this Administration’s spin doctors as a cover-up for the shameful extortion racket at the country’s main airports. A Philippine Daily Inquirer columnist yesterday echoed what seemed to be the new “party-line” on this issue: “One cannot help but suspect that there might be motives other than to afflict the innocent/ignorant and to extort. Is there a hidden agenda in all this, like ‘sow fear and arouse suspicion and thereby, create an embarrassing situation for the government of Aquino?’ There must be more to tanim-bala than meets the eye.”

    Do Roxas and that writer think those female OFWs and the missionary preyed upon by the airport extortionists were paid by the opposition to carry bullets in their baggage, to be later discovered so that such embarrassing incidents would fire up the tanim-bala controversy?

    And yet here’s another gem from Roxas’ mouth on this controversy: “Kung nagpasok ka ng contraband sa airport, paano naging problema ng gobyerno yun?” he arrogantly said recently in Isabela.” (“If you brought in contraband through the airport, why should that be a government problem?’)

    He apparently misses the entire point of the controversy: OFWs and tourists are accusing airport officers of planting contraband in their luggage to extort money from passengers.

    Roxas may be losing his marbles in his obsession to be President of this country. If he doesn’t cool it, people might classify him in the same league of presidential candidates as Allan Carreon, “Ambassador for Intergalactic Space,” or one who prefers to call himself Lucifer, saying he is just doing “his masters’ bidding.”

    Abaya: Roxas’ protege
    Roxas’ protégé, Joseph Emilio Abaya, who is the DOTC secretary, certainly comes from the same fabric of which Roxas himself is made.

    Abaya claimed the bullet-planting issue has been “blown out of proportion,” pointing out that those who were caught with bullets, numbering 1,510 in all, made up only 0.004 percent of the 34.2 million passengers who passed through NAIA terminals in 2014.

    Abaya is clueless about the stupidity of his attempt to be scientific. It’s amazing why, with the mess he has done with the MRT-3 and now with his pathetic attempts to claim that there’s no problem at the airport, he still hasn’t been given his walking papers. For chrissakes, make him run for something so he’d leave tomorrow.

    The 1,510 figure of travelers caught with bullets means nothing if you do not compare it with the number of such bullet-carrying passengers caught in Bangkok, Jakarta, or the “average” at airports in Asia at least. If none were caught at those airports, or just 10 in a year, shouldn’t we worry about the data submitted by the airport security people here?

    Let’s say, there were 1,000 travelers from Manila passing through Los Angeles international airport in 2014 caught with cocaine in their baggage, and the US raised complaints about this. Would the Philippines claim that the Americans are blowing it out of proportion as it represents only .001 percent of all travelers coming from Manila and landing in Los Angeles?

    But more important than Abaya’s ridiculous figures is the fact that the gravamen of the controversy is precisely that airport staff are planting bullets in travelers’ baggage, and then extorting money from them in exchange for the passengers’ smooth passage and freedom from any legal action (which in real cases would involve a penalty of up to six years in prison) taken against them.

    So in such cases, when victims pay up, they won’t be reported, right? Logically, the 1,510 passengers caught with bullets in their luggage in 2014 were only those who didn’t fork over the money to the airport extortionists. How about those who buckled under the pressure and paid the demanded amount just to avoid the hassle and trouble from it all, how many were they – three or four times more?

    If 1,510 were caught with bullets in 2014, and 6,600 since 2012 to October this year, how many cases have been filed in court, given that these are criminal offenses?

    These buffoons at the airport don’t even coordinate among themselves as to what figures to announce to the public. Abaya cited figures from the DOTC’s Office of Transportation Security (OTS), which showed 1,394 passengers have been intercepted carrying bullets so far this year to October.

    On the other hand, the Philippine National Police’s Aviation Security Group (PNP-AVSEGROUP), which has the authority to file criminal cases, said there were only 139 cases involving bullets found in passengers’ luggage this year, with 51 filed in court.

    They may have unwittingly exposed the magnitude of the extortion racket.

    Out of the 1,394 passengers the DOTC claimed were caught with bullets this year to date, the Avsecom filed only 139 cases. That very likely meant that the remaining 1,255 forked over money to the extortionists so no cases were filed against them, and 139 didn’t pay any amount. And out of the 139, some 88 of them paid later so they were not charged in court, leaving only 51 cases that were actually filed by the Avsegroup.

    Let’s assume that there’s a 50-50 chance the victims decided to pay up. Using the $500 figure reported by a tourist way back in 2012 as the amount demanded by these unscrupulous airport security personnel, the 1,255 passengers who fell victim to this racket would have yielded a total P35 million windfall for those extortionists at the airport.

    Now I’m beginning to understand why the top transport authorities have been dismissive of this issue, claiming it is being “blown out of proportion” and that those caught have so far been practice shooters proceeding to the airport straight from the firing ranges, or that the whole episode is a plot to shame Aquino.

    Why is this racket being exposed only now?

    Partly because the media stumbled on the plight of an elderly OFW who refused to buckle under the extortion attempt, and was detained for several days. Widely circulated in the social media, the case, bolstered by other reports that trickled out subsequently, triggered public outrage.

    It is also because the extortionists have become desperate for a fresh infusion before their modus faces a wall of uncertainty when a new administration takes over in just nine months. These airport gangsters may be frantically seizing the “last two minutes” of their game of scaring travelers out of their wits by shooting bullets into their pockets and making them pay for a way out of it.

    Thanks to an incompetent, arrogant Administration, we have become the object of contempt and ridicule by the world.



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    1. the worst scenario will be in the next 6 months if this people stay in their office especially in NAIA …. expectation should not only be limited to bullet planting but drugs, weapons, etc. just to extort money…. as stupid as roxas things will get worst in this airport… confidence of these syndicates will be build more for there is no one who can stop them… and more victims will fall prey from these predators….

    2. This guy Mar Roxas I believe is a perfect example of an imbecile, stupid damn fool. So with Pnoy, Abaya, Abad Boy, Honrado, Lina et al. Therefore, I don’t want another abnormal president in this country. We all be damned in hell if that’s to happen.

    3. During Marcos Time, The Manila International Airport is the Best in ASEAN.. They Change it to Ninoy International Airport. Look what Happen.. AQUINOS are the Worst Thing that Ever Happen in the Philippines..

    4. shame on this impotent administration who cant even criticize NAIA (because their cronies are in charge of it after all) and the brazen shameless personnel who keep on doing this planting just so they can say it is the norm and whatnot.

      either roxas is playing dumb or his spin doctors are really that idiotic. who would believe every one of these would bring shells from shooting ranges or as agimat/anting-anting. it was said by the poor SG bound woman who was framed last week they already had a prepared statement saying it was her shooting range souvenir which is obviously bullshit. naia sure has its bases covered, they can act with impunity because abnoy is powerless and impotent instead they shift blame on the hapless vicitm passengers. tuwad na daan indeed.

    5. Don’t all these guys deserve to hang? That day is coming, I can feel it in my bones.

    6. Abaya and Roxas are best buddies. Roxas is falling in the same trap that happen to Pinoy and Purisima. Roxas, I like you and will vote for you but do not be stupid. This not your problem. You are putting your candidacy in jeopardy. After election, Abaya is out so protect yourself.

    7. The government should tell the public about the consequences of having a bullet inside bags and luggage especially if these are truly yours. The public is not aware of this that is why there are still travelers caught with bullets. If the public is already aware “I supposed already aware since a lot of this was broadcast-ed daily on Media” then if someone still caught then he/she must be punished according to the law “but with due process”. After this we can now speculate about Tanim bala gang inside Phil airports.

    8. That’s Mar Roxas. Arrogant, insensitive, …… Now he is blaming the victims of tanim bala. Are you kidding me? I don’t know if this would be President have any brain. Seems he can’t understand simple logic. Don’t trust this sob. He is not fit for this job.

    9. I just hope one bullet is found in a gangster’s luggage when he knows for sure he has none and the gangster have all those people in the Xray machine identified and killed by his crew when they leave their post at 5pm. I guess that may be the language the bullet planters can understand.

    10. Meron pong conspiracy theory na may isang grupo ng isang KULTO ang may pakana ng TANIM BALA. Marami silang galamay sa lahat ng sangay ng gobyerno, pati mga PNP, NBI at iba pa kasabwat nila. Iniimbistigahin kasi sila sa mga kabulastugang pinaggagawa ng mga pinuno nila at sikat na sikat sila sa media TV man o radio, para maiwas ang atensyon sa kanila at para makaganti sa gobyerno yan ang mga pinaggagawa nila ngayon.
      NAGTATANIM NG BALA sa mga walang malay na OFW, sa labas palang ng airport dapat ingat po ang lahat ng OFW.
      Dapat ding tingnan kung kasapi sa KULTO ang nakitaan ng BALA, pwede rin kasing ginamit din sya ng TANIM BALA.

    11. Don’t you think that it is about time that Comelec should declare Mar Roxas as a nuisance candidate? Well , I mean with his brains and all?

    12. Filipinos – a lot of them anyway – are stupid people. Wait for the next election: Mar will win and there’ll be no disgust, no ‘people power’, nothing. They’ll be just, “Oh well, maybe it’s God’s will…that we have another idiot up there. Oh well…”

      And priests, bishops (of all sorts, from all religious denominations!) will continue to raise their hands in prayer and tell people to keep on praying so that God will guide them. Of course, the priests and bishops will continue to be content in seeing chaos for as long as the donations / collections continue flowing.

      Stupid people, the pinoys!

      Mr. Tiglao and his readers certainly belong to another category. But, it’s a few almost insignificant crowd.

    13. THIS modus was there before even in the time of Arroyo. It existed because the top officials of the airport earned from it. That is why they are not doing anything about it. Even as simple as putting more cameras and recording interrogations.

    14. Oh my Lord! Is this the man who want to be president of the Philippines? He seem to be out of the loop in what’s really happening and just to show the public that he has something to say ..he utters statements that were not thought of sige ng sige nalang kahit na magmukhang bobo siya or even this he’s not aware of?

    15. Kasalanan ni GMA itong tanim bala scam! siya ang may pakana nito,walang kasalanan si abnoy dahil hindi niya alam ito.. naglalaro lang naman siya ng computer games! at responsible shooter siya. dapat tularan ng mga shooters si abnoy sa pagiging responsible shooter niya. sina roxas,abaya,honrado ay inosente rin; hindi sila ang nagtanim ng bala.

    16. We should not forget all these issues and incidents as we will be choosing our next leaders for the next 3 years and 6 years in other positions. Let us not be carried and fooled by sweet words, promises and propaganda as the election comes nearer. If not, God save the Philippines. Another 3 years and 6 years of hell for the Filipinos.

    17. jun villacorta on

      Obviously the number of those who just paid up the extortion money were not counted. Thus the number of those listed were only those who refused to pay up.

    18. sa kanyang mga pahayag at mga palusot at sa ginagawa ng kanyang mga kasamahan eh ayaw niya at ayaw ng kasamahan niyang manalo sa darating na halalan. ang dating matalino, ngayon,_____ kayo na ang magtuloy the greatrest blunder in his life is marrying ________________

      • laguatanlawzen.com on

        Not only unbelievable but the highest degree of idiocy and gross stupidity. Roxas has been infected by a very contagious disease – “Aquinonitis idiotic syndrome.” And sad to say, there is no medical remedy to this sickness.

      • The aim of the tanim bala is to sabotage whatever the government is doing for the APEC. It is clear as crystal. No one on his right mind to tarnish the image of the country unless the objective is to destroy ones image.
        Filipinos should assess or evaluate what the author is trying to project and what camp he belongs. The ramification or effect of this “tanim bala” issue is not the government but to Filipinos as a whole. So lets not politicize the issue but to find ways to improve controls, monitoring and education of people.
        The question why the racket is being exposed now can be answered by ordinary people as simple.. election time..tarnish the image of current government. Corruption still thrives in many places. Thieves are still in many places in our government as well as private institutions. Poverty is the root cause. Poor people are exploited and easily influence to this kind of scam. I wish the culprit on this scam is brought to justice and get jailed. This group is sabotaging the economy of our country and should be held in jail for life!!

    19. Indeed it’s more convenient to admit stupidity than guilt. Practical shooters who go to firing ranges are what we call serious practical shooters. They invest in shooter’s gadgets and equipment like pistol case, magazines, bag, googles, etc. They don’t put loose ammunitions in their luggages for travel but in specialized bags. They know the mechanics of carrying firearms and ammunitions be it in their own vehicles or passengers planes. Who are you fooling Mar Roxas?

    20. Leodegardo Pruna on

      I cannot understand why P-Noy and his alter-egos are simply dismissing the issues as negligible or insignificant when in truth and in fact the issues have been damaging our moral fibers and institutions. P-Noy has not left a legacy as Congressman and Senator and he is leaving the Presidency with nothing but shame to the Filipino people. God bless the Philippines.

    21. NBI or the Justice Department should be looking to this case because of Scammers, who are professional Deal Maker and the “Brain” of this Modus Operand.

    22. All LOSS-LOSS Situation for the Aquino government and the NAIA personnel! Their dogma is to make the Filipino suffer for their arrogance and incompetence! Ano ang makakamit nila sa paggagawa ng masama! Kahihiyaan at panggatong sa impierno!


      I really don’t buy the palusot of Roxas, Abaya, Honrado or anybody from this
      administration. These people like their ward abnoy are incompetent. They
      all made the Philippines the WORST AIRPORT, DANGEROUS AIRPORT,

    24. “First-rate leaders hire first-rate people; second-rate leaders hire third-rate people.”
      Leo Rosten
      Pnoy Aquino hires fourth-rate KKK.

      Aquino’s cousin Jose Honrado epitomises everything that is wrong with the pnoy aquino administration, and the price which the nation has to pay for pnoy aquino adopting a ‘closed shop’ jobs policy for his kkk, and then to add insult to injury by giving them protection/immunity in the face of blatant incompetence or corruption.

      These people are not only incapable, but have no conscience, or ethics, just arrogance arising from a sense of entitlement and impunity. They also clearly have no concept of professional pride, corporate responsibility, and customer service.

      And the ludicrous excuses are only making aquino, roxas, abaya look even more stupid and desperate, if that is possible.
      The bullet scam has been going on for at least 3 years and complaints have been raised before – without any action.

      Honrados profile on Bloomberg:

      Mr. Jose Angel Honrado has been the General Manager of Manila International Airport Authority since 2010. Mr. Honrado served as security consultant of President Aquino during the May 10 elections. He served as spokesman of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), also served as aide-d-camp of the late former President Corazon Aquino.

      Would any other country entrust their capital airport to someone without a days relevant experience! – it is just crazy.
      Pnoy aquino appointed him and must ultimately take the blame – but obviously will not.

      This latest farce should ensure that manila regains the title of world’s worst airport, and give our asean neighbours something else to laugh about – especially singapore, with the worlds best airport.

      The country should hire the deputy GM from Changi and give him 3 years to sort out the management structure, airport design, personnel, systems, and culture, which are the underlying issues.

    25. I thought being one of the worst airport is bad enough, but being notorious for breeding a bunch of extortionist right inside the airport named after the father of the president is utterly shameful, and as usual this administration’s reaction is to deflect everything on their imagined opponent’s plot to tar their image and defend their own people, no matter how obviously stupid, arrogant, incompetent and corrupt these people are. Six months is too long for these people to remain in power.. too long.

      • Anong halaga ng “Tuwid Na Daan” kung ang dumadaan ay mga pulubi, plunderer, mutineer, thieves. holdapper, killers,rapist, baldado at mga lasenggo.

    26. Tuwid na Daan goes hand-in-hand with Tuwid na Pag-Iisip, which unfortunately cannot be said of the minds of those in power.

    27. There is no need to destroy Mar Roxas in your column and it will be waste of time and effort. Mar Roxas is a damaged goods already and will continue to self destruct until May next year.

    28. Poor Philippines ruled by these bunch of idiots and dumb people like Roxas n Abaya. I thought these people were graduate of Ivy League schools??!!

      • Could be that they paid their way to getting their diplomas considering their wealth. Definitely, not all wealthy people have brains. Most have only wealthy parents.