Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) Congressman Win Gatchalian filed a resolution to probe the reported “laglag-bala” modus operandi at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
House Resolution No. 2419 directs the committees on Good Government and on Transportation to conduct an inquiry, in aid of legislation, into the nefarious activity that has victimized at least one tourist and one balikbayan.
Gatchalian, a majority member of the House Committee on Tourism, said a “thorough investigation” should be undertaken as soon as possible “to uncover culpabilities, if there are, of erring personnel.”
The Valenzuela City lawmaker hopes that through a House probe, crucial reforms will be implemented in the airport terminal system. He also hopes the investigation will help clean the country’s reputation among other nations.
Gatchalian explained in his resolution that “cases of this nature at the very entrance/gateway to our country speak volumes of this kind of culture that we are perceived to allow and tolerate to occur to the detriment of economic gains and tourism efforts that these visitors from foreign countries bring.”
One victim of the “laglag-bala” operation is first-time American tourist Michael White, a 20-year-old missionary from Florida, who was detained for five days by airport police for allegedly concealing two caliber 22 bullets in his checked-in baggage which was discovered at the X-ray scanner area of NAIA Terminal 4.
White alleged that a male security personnel told him that his problem will be settled for P30,000.
Another victim was a wheelchair-bound balikbayan who had to pay P500 to the airport security personnel to be allowed to depart the country. (Monica Cantilero)