NAIA rears its ugly head again | Inquirer News

NAIA rears its ugly head again


MANILA—It was a bad day for Henry Prile, who got more than the usual dose of hassles that have made the Ninoy Aquino International Airport’s Terminal 1 notorious among local and foreign travelers.

Unable to find a working toilet and his bladder near bursting on Sunday, the China-bound 59-year-old Filipino traveller had the additional misfortune of getting bitten by a pet dog leashed to a railing by no less than the head of the airport authority’s Intelligence and Investigation Division.


Airport Police Maj. Melchor de los Santos is himself now in hot water, having been asked by his superiors to explain what his pet, a cross between a dachshund and a golden retriever, was doing at the airport.


According to a medical report signed by Dr. Ma. Theresa Azores, the medical officer on duty at the time, Prile had arrived at the airport to catch a China Eastern flight (MU 211) to Shanghai when the incident happened at 12:30 a.m. Sunday.

Immediately after being bitten by the dog, Prile was taken to the airport clinic for the treatment of his wound.

“He was seen conscious, coherent, ambulatory, and not in distress despite the wound on his right thigh,” the doctor’s report said, adding that Prile was given a tetanus shot and pills to lessen the pain and the swelling before he boarded his flight.

In an interview, Junji Agonias, a security guard on duty at the time, said he caught Prile as he was about to pee against a wall near one of two public toilets that had been closed for repairs. The guard said he admonished the passenger and directed him to a toilet at the far end of the terminal, but Prile pleaded he could hold it no longer.

“I felt sorry for him… so I let him use the toilet inside the IID (Intelligence and Investigation Division)” nearby, Agonias added.  That was where the dog was.

Vicente Guerzon, the assistant general manager for security and emergency services at the Manila International Airport Authority, took issue with Prile for going to the IID toilet.


“He should not have been there in the first place,” Guerzon said in a telephone interview, admitting, however, that the dog should not have been there, either.

Guerzon said De los Santos “should also explain why he brought the dog inside.”

Delos Santos admitted his mistake in an interview with reporters, saying he should have not brought his dog Lester to the IID station. But there was no one he could leave his pet with at home at the time.

De los Santos and Guerzon both promised to help the bitten passenger, who was reported to be in China on Tuesday.

“We will be monitoring the dog for any signs of rabies and we will also be in constant communication with the passenger,” Guerzon said.

Two years ago, a dog attacked a two-year-old boy at NAIA Terminal 2.

The victim was about to board a Philippine Airlines flight with his parents and nanny when he was attacked from behind by the bomb-sniffing dog. PAL issued an apology, promising the boy’s family to shoulder all the medical expenses.


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TAGS: Dogs, Metro, NAIA, News

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