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Palace downplays ‘laglag-bala’: Put issues in proper context

/ 07:24 PM October 30, 2015

Malacañang on Friday downplayed the alleged “laglag-bala” (also referred to as “tanim bala” or planting a bullet) scam supposedly being carried out by airport personnel against airline passengers, saying that such incidents are only few compared to the supposedly smooth flow of thousands of passengers in Philippine airports.

Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma urged the public to “put issues in the proper context.”

“Kailangan din natin ilagay sa tamang konteksto. Libu-libo ang gumagamit ng paliparan at iilan lang naman ‘yung mga nakitaan ng ganitong mga—nakitaan ng bala, at lahat ng insidenteng ito ay sinisiyasat nang naaayon sa batas at nagbibigay ng sapat na pagkilala sa karapatang-pantao at mga legal rights ng mga sangkot na indibidwal,” Coloma told reporters in a press briefing.

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“Kaya ilagay natin sa tamang perspektibo, libu-libong mga Pilipino at mga dayuhan ang dumadaan sa ating international airport at mainam naman ang daloy ng tao sa ating mga paliparan. Sa kabila ‘non ay iniimbestiga at sinisiyasat ang mga pangyayaring ito,” he added.

READ: ‘Tanim bala’ case triggers probe call | Japanese carrying 2 bullets in bag arrested at NAIA | Santiago: ‘Laglag-bala’ shows how corruption defeats law

Nevertheless, Coloma assured the public that reported cases of bullet-planting are being properly investigated by authorities, noting that the government remains committed in ensuring safety and security of passengers.

“Pangunahing layunin ng pamahalaan ay tiyakin ‘yung kaligtasan at kapakanan ng lahat ng mga naglalakbay na gumagamit ng ating paliparan at iba pang daungan. Isa sa mahalagang aspeto nito ay ‘yung seguridad kaya nagpapatupad ng mga hakbang hinggil sa seguridad kabilang na ‘yung screening through the use of electronic equipment like X-ray, ‘yung mga kagamitan na ipinapasok diyan,” he said.

As to the suggestion of Sen. Ralph Recto to establish a Presidential Action and Complaint Desk at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Coloma said public assistance desks are already present at the Manila airport.

“Sa ating pagkabatid ay mayroon ng mga nakatalagang opisyal sa mga paliparan na tumutukoy sa pagtulong sa mga gumagamit ng ating pasilidad. Meron tayong mga public assistance desk. Ang buong pananaw, ang buong kaisipan ng lahat ng mga empleyado ng gobyerno ay upang maglingkod at magbigay ng tulong sa mga gumagamit ng ating mga paliparan. Kung mayroong nais ipanukala ang ating mga mambabatas, hihintayin natin ang kanilang mga kongkretong panukala,” he said.

“Laglag bala” is a scam supposedly being carried out by airport personnel, where passengers are being detained after a bullet was found in their luggage, and asking them for money under threat of suits.

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TAGS: 'laglag-bala' scheme, airport personnel, Bureau of Customs, Herminio Coloma, Malacañang
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