‘Unacceptable’ to bar, limit access of police aviation security, Dela Rosa tells airport execs
MANILA, Philippines — Airport officials got a mouthful from Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa on Monday for supposedly barring the police aviation security group from entering the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia).
According to Dela Rosa, he was told by members of the Philippine National Police-Aviation Security Group (PNP-AVSEG) that they are no longer allowed inside the Naia.
He said it would be “a very immature reaction” and could compromise airport security if the supposed policy change resulted from the Senate probe on alleged human smuggling at the Naia.
But Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) General Manager Cesar Chiong immediately denied this during the Senate blue ribbon committee hearing.
“No sir, that’s not true, sir. In fact, during our coordination meeting with the PNP-AVSEG, it was clarified that the access passes that were given to them, they are authorized to enter the NAIA premises, sir,” Chiong said.
“So mali pala yung nagsabi sa akin na AVSEG na hindi sila makapasok [So it was wrong when someone said AVSEG can no longer enter]?” Dela Rosa asked.
The senator nevertheless reminded Chiong that under the law, it is clearly stated that the police’s aviation security group is mandated to secure all the country’s airports against offensive and terrorist acts.
The law also clearly provides that the PNP-AVSEG should exercise operational control and supervision over all agencies involved in airport security operations.
“Ito ba’y na amend na batas? Ito bay na supersede na ng another batas or ito ba’y na repeal na na batas? I’m sure hindi pa…San ka nakakita ng aviation security group na binabawalang pumasok sa loob ng airport?” asked the former top cop.
(Was the law amended? Was it superseded by another law or was the law already repealed? I’m sure it’s not. Where do you see an aviation security group being prevented entry from the airport?)
“Alam nyo kung magkakaroon ng hijacking dyan, magkakaroon ng terrorist attack, sino ang sisihin? Sila dahil by law, according to this law, sila ang in-charge sa security dyan. Sila ang sisihin. Ngayon binabawalan ninyo, that’s unacceptable. You’re violating the law kung ganyan ang ginagawa ninyo. Hindi po pwede yung ginagawa nyong ganun, that’s violation of law,” the senator added.
(You know, if there’s a hijacking or terrorist attack, who will be liable? It’s because by law, according to this law, they are in-charge in the security there. They will be liable. Now you’re preventing them. That’s unacceptable. You’re violating the law if you’re doing that. That’s not allowed. That’s a violation of the law.)
Panel chairman, Senato Francis Tolentino, backed Dela Rosa, saying he knew there was a change of procedure now at the airport.
“Yung aviation police, pagkalamapas dun sa X-ray machine, clearances carousel hanggang dun na lang sila. Hindi na sila maka advance kasi yun daw ang bagong patakaran mo,” he said directing his statement to Chiong.
(The aviation police are only allowed at the X-ray machine, the clearance carousel area. They can’t advance because that’s your new rule.)
Only the airport police wearing vests, he said, are now allowed near the pre-departure area.
“Bakit ho kinakailangan ng ganito. Ito siguro yung sinasabi ni Senator Dela Rosa e,” Tolentino said.
(Why do you have to do this? This is what Senator Dela Rosa is saying.)
Chiong again clarified that they did not change the policies and the IDs of the PNP-AVSEG, noting that their access passes were the same as given during the last administration.
“So yung tinatawag na authorized area, yung red, so wala ho kaming binago sir . Kung ano ho yung binigay dati yun pa rin ho ang binigay sa kanila,” the MIAA chief pointed out.
(Red is an authorized area, we did not change anything, but it is still the same.)
Dela Rosa insisted on the information he relayed and urged authorities to correct the policy contravening the law.
“We will do that sir, we will coordinate po with the PNP-AVSEG,” Chiong said.
Dela Rosa also warned the MIAA against its so-called “airport police.”
“That’s unconstitutional. Sabihan ko kayo that’s unconstitutional. We can question that anytime,” said the senator. “In fact, hindi nga covered pa ng batas yan, executive order yung basis nyo dyan, gumagawa kayo ng airport police.”
(That’s unconstitutional. I’m telling you that’s unconstitutional. We can question that anytime. The law did not cover it. Your basis was an executive order when you created that airport police)
Dela Rosa stressed that there is only one police force, the PNP. The use of the word “police” then, is only reserved for the PNP, he also said.
Senate set to probe security gaps at Naia
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