No money? No passport? No problem—at least for Leah Castro Reginio anyway.
Last Thursday, the 30s-something native from Antique breezed through airport security at the Kalibo International Airport, successfully boarding a Philippine Airlines flight and managing to reach Seoul, South Korea.
And she did all this without money, a passport and other travel documents.
According to an investigation by aviation officials, it was the carelessness of security, immigration and airline personnel that allowed Reginio to board the flight.
While in transit, she even ate the in-flight meals and was given a blanket.
In the end, it was officials of the Incheon International Airport who accosted Reginio and realized she was a stowaway after she failed to produce any papers.
She was hastily put on a flight back to Kalibo.
Upon her arrival, Reginio was detained by authorities of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) and subjected to questioning.
However, she was later released after a relative CAAP officials contacted revealed she had a history of schizophrenia.
During the interrogation, Reginio purportedly just laughed and smiled. Upon being asked how many children she had, she reportedly answered “more than four and a half, but not less than three.”
On being asked to explain how she managed to get inside without being detected, Reginio said all she did was tag along with a group of Koreans who had just finished their vacation in Boracay.
She also bragged about supposedly riding a “ro-ro” (roll on-roll off barge) without paying.
Although CAAP officials said they do not intend to pursue charges against Reginio, they will conduct a thorough investigation on the lapses made by the airport and PAL personnel.
Said an inside source: “What happened was an embarrassment. Not only must heads roll for this lapse, but existing security measures should be reviewed immediately since we are talking about the safety of the passengers.”