No top official investigated over ‘tanim bala’ racket | Inquirer News
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No top official investigated over ‘tanim bala’ racket

Investigation limited to 'tanim bala' incidents
/ 06:42 PM December 10, 2015

No top airport and airport security officials were investigated by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to determine, under the command responsibility doctrine, who should be held accountable in the failure to address the “tanim bala” (bullet planting) problem at the airport.

Executive Order 226 institutionalizes command responsibility in all government offices. The doctrine of command responsibility means that the head of a government agency shall be held accountable for neglect of duty if he or she has knowledge that a crime or offense is being committed in his or her area but did nothing to prevent it.

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Some sectors are calling for the removal of Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) General Manager Jose Angel Honrado for his inability to address the “tanim bala” problem at the airport.

“Please understand that the NBI investigation was limited to the incidents happening at the NAIA (Ninoy Aquino International Airport) Terminals. On whether or not there are aspects of command responsibility, hindi po kasama sa imbestigasyon ‘yan,” Justice Undersecretary and DOJ Spokesman Emmanuel Caparas said at a press conference.

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“I guess the NBI would have been going beyond the scope had they gone that far [determining command responsibility],” Caparas told reporters.

The NBI already submitted report of its investigation on the “tanim bala” racket before the DOJ.

Caparas said based on the NBI report, unscrupulous airport personnel were involved, but there is no evidence that an organized syndicate is operating.

“While corrupt airport officials may be behind the scheme, the group is not big enough for it to be called a syndicate. As far as organized syndicate is concerned, that was not established,” Caparas said adding that it was based on what the NBI task force headed by NBI Anti-Organized Transnational Crime Division Head Agent Manuel Antonio Eduarte has gathered.

“Indeed there were instances of talaba scam (tanim-laglag-bala) by corrupt Office of Transportation Security personnel, but the likelihood of an organized syndicate was not established. Based on what they’ve gathered at this point, they cannot definitively say; ‘syndicate’ implies many people acting together in unison or following a plan and the NBI cannot establish that,” he added.

But he said the NBI is still not ruling out the possibility of existence of an organized syndicate at the country’s premiere airport since the bureau is not yet done with its probe.

“The investigation is not over yet. Tuloy-tuloy pa rin ito. Same inclination is to really find out, to show how these incidents came to be and why it’s continuing to this day. The reality is this still takes place at the airport, and that’s why we’re continuing our investigation,” Caparas said, adding that they could not yet fully disclosed the NBI recommendations in its report since there are other officials who still have to weigh in on the report.

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The NBI investigation has analyzed historical data that go as far as five years back. These data refers to similar incidents of arrest at the airport and those already filed in court.

But Caparas said based on the NBI report, there was a spike of arrest of travelers caught with ammunition in their luggage.

“May escalation sa taong ito, starting from mid of this year leading to October,” Caparas said.

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TAGS: ‘laglag-bala’, airport, case, Honrado, investigation, luggage, Miaa, NAIA, racket, Scam, talaba, tanim bala, top official
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