Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) Congressman Win Gatchalian is set to file a resolution calling for a House inquiry on the practice of some personnel of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) extorting money from passengers by planting bullets in their luggage.
Gatchalian pointed out that NAIA serves as the show window to many tourists and balikbayan and what they experience in our airports tells a lot about the Philippines and its people.
“This so-called Laglag-Bala extortion racket is a disgrace to NAIA as an institution even though only a handful of its personnel could be directly involved in such nefarious activity. This has to be investigated to ensure that this kind of condemnable act is permanently stopped,” explained Gatchalian.
At least two incidents of the “laglag-bala” modus have been reported, the latest of which happened to first-time tourist Michael White who was detained for five days by airport police for allegedly concealing a bullet in his checked-in baggage, which was discovered at the X-ray scanner area of NAIA Terminal 4.
The 20-year-old White denied knowledge of how the .22 caliber bullet got inside his luggage. White alleged that a male security personnel told him that his problem will be settled for P30,000.
Two bullets were also mysteriously found at the luggage of a wheelchair-bound balikbayan who reportedly had to pay P500 to the airport security personnel to be allowed to depart the country.
Although the Office for Transportation Security (OTS) is already probing all possible angles on the “Laglag-Bala” modus, Gatchalian said the House should also conduct its own inquiry to determine whether this kind of extortion-racket has been happening in the past and has gone unreported. (R. Burgos)