Transport security suspends Naia officer due to alleged extortion racket
MANILA, Philippines — The Office for Transportation Security (OTS) on Monday said that one of its personnel at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) had been placed on preventive suspension after being caught extorting cash from a foreign national in a viral video.
According to the OTS in a statement, its staff member at Naia Terminal 2 was seen returning money to a foreign national after the latter demanded that the Security Screening Officer (SSO) give back the money taken from him amounting to 20,000 yen or the equivalent to more or less P8,000 in a viral video.
“The OTS took immediate actions to identify the involved SSOs. Subsequently, they were relieved from their duty and were placed under preventive suspension. OTS investigators are now preparing to file the appropriate administrative cases,” said the OTS.
“We would also like to pursue the filing of [a] criminal case against them, and we will seek the cooperation of the victimized foreign nationals to expedite the filing of an airtight case,” the OTS added.
The OTS then vowed that similar illegal acts would never be tolerated as they tarnished the reputation and integrity not only of the agency but the entire country in general.
The agency then bared that it had already dismissed 14 erring personnel during its internal cleansing program, suspended three, and resolved six cases through the OTS Legal Service.
These incidents, said the OTS, ranged from violation of the No Tipping Policy, violation in the proper disposal of intercepted prohibited items, extortion, rude behavior, and use of mobile phones while on duty.
“We would like to assure everyone that the OTS management will exhaust all available strategies to correct the lapses in our operations by nurturing a new culture of professionalism, integrity, and commitment to public service,” the OTS said.