Prosecutors to work longer hours at Naia
The Department of Justice (DOJ) is ironing out the protocol for the longer deployment of its prosecutors at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia), hoping to maintain a presence of fiscals on extended hours at the air terminal complex which operates 24 hours every day.
This was announced by Justice Undersecretary Emmanuel Caparas on Saturday following a meeting of officials at the DOJ Friday afternoon to discuss measures for responding to the “tanim-bala” (bullet-planting) incidents at the Philippines’ premier gateway.
The scam has raged in the run-up to the country’s hosting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation leaders summit, which 10,000 international delegates are expected to attend.
“Prosecutors are currently deployed at the Naia. Further arrangements are being made to have them there for extended hours seven days a week,” Caparas told the Inquirer in a text message on Saturday.
The DOJ spokesperson said a shifting schedule was being devised to ensure that a prosecutor would be ready to respond to ammunition-related apprehensions at the airport at all times.
There are four terminals at the airport complex, serving both domestic and international passengers.
“There will be shifting done to make sure we have at least one prosecutor there every day,” said the official.
Asked if the arrangements included the drafting of rules of procedure for the newest task given to state prosecutors, Caparas responded positively.
Caparas said Friday that the DOJ started deploying prosecutors at the Naia as early as Nov. 4, amid the spate of reported bullet-planting incidents, an extortion racket allegedly involving airport security personnel preying on passengers.
Caparas earlier explained that the prosecutors would be on call to undertake an initial assessment of bullet-related apprehensions.
Their job, he said, would be to determine “whether, given all the facts, there are enough grounds to detain the passenger.”
The goal is to avoid disrupting the travel plans of innocent passengers, he said.
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