Not again: Another foreigner claims being victim of NAIA workers’ "laglag-bala" modus. Is there a "laglag-bala" gang at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA)? A Filipino-American woman said a few days ago that she was forced to pay P500 for two bullets that were "found" in her luggage.
Now, another passenger has come forward to say that he was also taken advantage of by dishonest NAIA officials. The man, a 20-year-old American missionary from Florida named Lane Michael White, said that an officer from NAIA's Office of Transportation Security (OTS) tried to get him to pay P30,000 after a.22-caliber bullet was 'found' in his bag on September 17.
But White, who was supposed to fly with his family to Coron that day, refused and said the bullet was not his. Because he refused, he was charged with illegally having ammunition in front of Pasay City Judge Pedro Gutierrez and had to go to jail for a while.
After making bail of P40,000, he was released on the sixth day. This is the second time a passenger has claimed they were set up in a similar manner. On September 18 of this year, Rhed Austria de Guzman, a Filipina traveling for the United States, recounted being extorted by two screening officers into handing over P500 after they claimed to have found two bullets in her luggage.
To guarantee the safety of all travelers, especially foreign tourists, NAIA spokesperson David de Castro commented on the two instances by saying that the airport is conducting an investigation into the presence of the 'laglag-bala' gang. According to GMA News, de Castro said:
We would want to make sure everyone of them is secure whenever they transit through the airport. Our stand is if one of our personnel commits a wrong then he must be punished.
OTS Public Affairs OIC Jonathan Maliwat, for one, swore there would be no whitewashing. Meanwhile, one person commented about this issue. He said:
It’s been a land of cheating and fraud for as long as i can remember and those people at the airport are uncomparable to the groups that you mention. These groups are fighting and doing what they are doing for what they believe is for a cause when, i can not think of a single good reason why these people at the airport are doing what they are doing except for selfishness and pure evil.
The Ninoy Aquino International Airport bullet-planting incident, also known as tanim-bala ("bullet planting") or laglag-bala ("bullet dropping") in the Philippines, began in September 2015 and lasted until early 2016. Airport security officers at Ninoy Aquino International Airport were involved (NAIA). The "tanim bala" scheme, which came to light in 2015, was a sham in which a bullet was hidden in the luggage of visitors, majority of them were abroad Filipino workers, senior residents, and tourists.
Scammers then demand money in exchange for dropping the charges of unauthorized possession of ammunition. To avoid the "Tanim Bala" scheme, keep in mind that the fewer pockets you have on you, the less likely you are to fall victim to the tanim bala plan.
To be safe, avoid wearing clothing with huge pockets and check your pockets frequently. Lastly, keep an eye on your luggage or your bag you're carrying.