Aquino doesn’t want to ‘crucify wrong people’ over ‘tanim-bala’ – Almendras
PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III wants to fire the perpetrators of the alleged “tanim-bala” racket at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia), but he does not want to indict the “wrong people.”
This was what Cabinet Secretary Jose Rene Almendras said on Wednesday amid calls for the resignation of airport executives and transportation officials at the height of the alleged bullet-planting extortion scheme victimizing airline passengers.
“President Aquino wants all kinds of investigation on the tanim-bala issue to be done… But we don’t want to crucify the wrong people,” Almendras said in an interview with ANC Headstart.
Lawmakers have ordered an inquiry into the reported incidents of “tanim-bala” and called for the sacking of airport authorities, particularly Manila International Airport Authority general manager Jose Angel Honrado.
Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano has also filed an administrative complaint before the Office of the Ombudsman seeking to suspend Honrado, Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya, Office for Transportation Security administrator Roland Recomono, and Philippine National Police-Aviation Security Group director Pablo Francisco Balagtas for supposed neglect of duty.
Almendras admitted that the timing of alleged Naia scam was not ideal as world leaders would arrive in a few weeks’ time for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Manila.
“People are asking bakit ngayon lang nahuhuli? It’s because better machines have been placed in airports,” Almendras said.
He added that Aquino does not entertain speculations that the scam was part of a politically motivated demolition job against the administration ahead of the Apec summit and the 2016 polls.
As to the probe of bullet-planting incidents, Almendras asked the public to be more patient “as these things do not happen overnight.”
The Department of Transportation and Communications on Wednesday held a press conference amid growing public outcry over allegations on the tanim-bala racket, saying such accusations were grave ones which deserved government investigation.
The Department of Justice also formed a National Bureau of Investigation task force to probe into the alleged bullet-planting incidents at Naia.
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