Airport monitor captures Ramona Bautista’s departure
She just zipped through the airport terminal fee counter.
A Bureau of Immigration (BI) video showed that Ma. Ramona “Mara” Bautista did not fall in line and personally pay the P750 terminal fee at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport when she fled the country on Friday night.
Apparently, somebody paid it for her in advance.
BI spokesperson Ma. Antonette Mangrobang said the video also showed that no one “escorted” Ramona, a suspect in the October 28 murder of her elder brother, Ramgen Bautista, to the immigration counter.
“It can be seen in the CCTV footage that she queued in our immigration area and passed it like any other normal passenger,” Mangrobang said in an interview.
“I don’t know the basis of (reports that she had an escort) but based on our video, she had no escort going to the departure area,” she added.
Other CCTV video from the airport reportedly showed that a man accompanied Ramona to the Cathay Pacific check-in counter and later to the departure area.
“Apparently, no one accompanied her at the immigration area because they know we have cameras there,” said a BI official, who requested anonymity because he was not allowed to talk officially on the matter.
The official presented to reporters on Monday the CCTV footage showing Ramona appearing before the airport terminal fee counter at 7:20 p.m. on Friday.
She was wearing a white cardigan on top of a grey shirt and what appeared to be black leggings and flip flops. She was carrying three bags and had a red scarf tied around her head.
“The immigration officer asked why she was wearing a red scarf and she said it was because her husband was Turkish,” Mangrobang said.
But curiously, Ramona just looked to her side and did not fall in line in front of the terminal fee counter like the other passengers.
She just stood before the counter and turned to her left and looked back. She then turned to her right and, again looking back, waved at somebody.
Ramona stood there for around 20 seconds and, after waving, proceeded to walk past the terminal fee counter. The two officers at the counter apparently did not notice her as they were dealing with other passengers.
Ramona then lined up before the immigration counters and waited for more than two minutes before it was finally her turn at immigration counter 14. The male immigration officer talked to her for nearly four minutes.
“You can see that he questioned her for nearly four minutes when it usually just takes 45 seconds to process a passenger’s documents,” the BI official said.
He said Ramona’s papers were in order and so the officer waived her through.
The BI official said that immigration officers could prevent a passenger from departing if there was a hold departure or watch list order against her, her papers were faked, or if she looked as if she was a victim of human trafficking.
“At that time, he did not know that she was the suspect in the killing. Somebody later told him about it but she had already gone through immigration by then,” the official said.
“But even then, he could not have prevented her from boarding her plane as there was no hold-departure order against her,” he added.
Mangrobang said the immigration officer also asked her what her final destination was and “she answered that it was Turkey.”
Ramona was heading that night for Hong Kong and a Turkish Airlines connecting flight was waiting for her at the former crown colony, she added.
Customs Commissioner Rozzano Rufino Biazon said he would order an investigation to determine if the man who accompanied Ramona at the check-in counter was a customs officer.
Originally posted: 7:22 pm | Monday, November 7th, 2011
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