After all the nightmare that happened to both Filipino and foreign travelers in Philippine airports, the feared tanim-bala (or literally “bullet-planting”) scheme may now officially be a thing of the past – thanks to President Rodrigo Duterte who recently took office as the country’s top official.
According to a news report posted by ABS-CBN, President Duterte ordered authorities not to arrest passengers if bullets are found in their luggage.
Senior Superintendent Mao Aplasca, new director of the police Aviation Security Group (Avsegroup), confirmed in an interview that travelers will not be detained or charged in case a bullet is confiscated from them. This, of course, is after Duterte’s order.
The ABS-CBN article tells us:
“Passengers in possession of ammunition will instead undergo immediate profiling to clear them of links to any terrorist or criminal group, and of criminal intention in carrying the bullet.
They would be allowed to immediately board their flight provided that no firearm is confiscated together with the ammunition.”
“Laglag-bala modus operandi is a thing of the past and we assure the public that they no longer worry that they will miss their flight or get arrested at our airport for possession of an ammunition.”
The director also mentioned that the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA), Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), and the transportation department will create a joint team that will regularly conduct security planning for airports.
In the past, it can be remembered that several Filipinos and foreigners were detained because of the said scam and both airport authorities and government agencies were geneally unhelpful to the victims. This was despite the fact that many of the apprehended passengers complained that they were being asked to pay huge amounts of money in exchange of their release.
Duterte, even before formally deciding to run as president, has repeatedly said that if he was the country’s leader, he will make the scam perpetrators swallow the bullets themselves.
source: abscbn/raoul esperas