Senate to begin ‘tanim-bala’ probe; Abaya among resource persons
The Senate is set to start this week its investigation into the reported proliferation of “tanim-bala” scam in the country with airport officials and Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya invited as resource persons.
The hearing will be conducted jointly by the Senate committee on public services headed by its acting chairman, Senator Sergio “Serge” Osmeña III and the Senate blue ribbon committee being headed by Senator Teofisto Guingona III.
“We hope [to begin the investigation] this Thursday,” Osmeña told reporters on Tuesday.
Aside from Abaya , Osmeña said Manila International Airport Authority General Manager Jose Angel Honrado, and Philippine National Police-Aviation Security Group (PNP-Avsegroup) Director Pablo Francisco Balagtas will be among those who will be invited to face the Senate probe.
“We’re trying to get the NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) report if it will be ready. We’re trying to invite those who have been arrested but have since been released. And then we want to have their stories on record,” he said.
“Naawa ako lalong-lalo na sa mga OFWs [overseas Filipino workers] na navi-victimize ng sindikato na ito . (I feel bad for the overseas Filipino workers who are being victimized by this syndicate.) And we want it exposed and we want to put pressure on those who are responsible for allowing this to happen, wittingly or unwittingly, this has been going on too long and nobody has been arrested. They are arresting the ones who are the victims,” the senator added.
Asked if he also believed that the scam was being perpetrated by a syndicate, Osmeña categorically answered in the affirmative.
“Yes, I believe it has to be done by a syndicate because there are those who will plant the bullets, then later on a different person collects the money…” he pointed out.
Asked again if Abaya should resign for his failure to solve the problem in the airport, Osmeña said: “He should have resigned a long time ago, but what can I do? KKK.”
The KKK that he was referring to was the so-called “kabarkada, kabarilan at kaklase” of President Benigno Aquino III who were appointed in his Cabinet.
Osmeña had long been calling for Abaya’s resignation even before this new scam at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. CDG
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