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Another ‘Tanim-bala’? But she’s carrying 416 bullet casings!

PACK OF “AMMO” The 416 .38-caliber bullet casings found inside a passenger’s bag at Naia on Monday —PHOTO COURTESY OF THE MIAA

Allegations of “tanim-bala” (planted bullet) apparently won’t apply to her case.

The Manila International Airport Authority (Miaa) on Wednesday said authorities had questioned a woman with a connecting flight at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) after 416 .38-caliber bullet casings were discovered in her luggage.

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Miaa did not identify the woman but said she was a Filipino who had acquired US citizenship. She arrived at Naia Terminal 2 on Monday from Honolulu and had a connecting flight to Laoag, Ilocos Norte, that same day.

A security screener “monitored an image resembling a large amount of ammunition” in her bag during a routine X-ray inspection, Miaa said in a statement. The bullet casings were later found inside, contained in a plastic bag and then placed in a box.

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When questioned, the passenger claimed that the box belonged to her brother-in-law who had asked her to carry it—and that he told her that the box contained clothes.

The passenger was allowed to board her flight to Laoag after the bullet casings were seized.

Last month, security personnel at Naia Terminal 3 discovered a 9-mm bullet in the bag of Zamboanga-bound passenger Kristine Bumanlag Moran, who later alleged in a Facebook post that she was a victim of tanim-bala.

Authorities quickly moved to cast doubt on Moran’s story by releasing photos showing that the bullet had been inside Moran’s still plastic-wrapped luggage during the X-ray scan.

The Miaa and Department of Transportation (DOTr) appealed to the public to “refrain from making assumptions” and “be more circumspect in reacting to social media posts.”

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