- Communications Secretary Sonny Coloma asks the public to stay calm amid the alleged ”tanim bala” and “laglag bala” scam
- Coloma said the reports are not scam as there are only few incidents reported
- The secretary gave assurance that the government is seriously looking into the alleged scam
MANILA, Philippines – Communications Secretary Sonny Coloma asked the public to calm down amid the alleged ”tanim bala” and “laglag bala” scam incidents that are allegedly happening at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport which reportedly victimized returning overseas Filipino workers.
“Kailangan din nating ilagay sa tamang konteksto. Libu-libo ang gumagamit ng paliparan at iilan lang naman ‘yung mga nakitaan ng ganitong mga — nakitaan ng bala at lahat ng insidenteng ito ay sinisiyasat nang naaayon sa batas at nagbibigay ng sapat ng pagkilala sa karapatang-pantao at mga legal rights ng mga sangkot na indibidwal,” Coloma said as quoted by RG Cruz for ABS CBN News posted on October 30.
(“We need to put it on proper context. There are thousands of people using the airport and these are a few incidents where bullets were found and all of these incidents are being investigated with due process and respect for human rights and legal rights of those individuals involved.”)
”Kaya ilagay natin sa tamang perspektibo, libu-libong mga Pilipino at mga dayuhan ang dumadaan sa ating international airport at mainam naman ang daloy ng tao sa ating mga paliparan,” Coloma said.
(“We need to put it on proper perspectives, there are thousands of Filipinos and foreigners who are using our international airport and the traffic flow at our airport is good.”)
The Communication Secretary gave the assurance that the government is seriously looking into the alleged scam.
“Pangunahing layunin ng pamahalaan ay tiyakin ‘yung kaligtasan at kapakanan ng lahat ng mga naglalakbay na gumagamit ng ating paliparan at iba pang daungan,” Coloma said.
(“The main objective of our government is to ensure the safety and welfare of the travelers using our airports and ports.”)
“Isa sa mahalagang aspeto nito ay ‘yung seguridad kaya nagpapatupad ng mga hakbang hinggil sa seguridad kabilang na ‘yung screening through the use of electronic equipment like X-ray, ‘yung mga kagamitan na ipinapasok diyan,” he added.
(“One important aspect of this is maintaining security, the reason why there are protocols implemented including screening through the use of electronic equipment like X-ray, and other instruments used.”)
The alleged victims of the scam said that airport security screeners were involved in the planting of a bullet in the bags of passengers, the moment they go through security inspections. These acts are done in the aim of extorting money from the victims to avoid embarrassment, delay and possible charges over a breach in airport security.
An article by Leo Navarro Malicdem for Brigada posted on October 30 quoted Coloma saying that assistance desks set up by government for those who may have problems in the airport. He also said that there are assigned officials dedicated to help those who are using the airport.
“Meron tayong mga public assistance desk. Ang buong pananaw, ang buong kaisipan ng lahat ng mga empleyado ng gobyerno ay upang maglingkod at magbigay ng tulong sa mga gumagamit ng ating mga paliparan. Kung mayroong nais ipanukala ang ating mga mambabatas, hihintayin natin ang kanilang mga kongkretong panukala,” Coloma said.
(“We have public assistance desks. The entire vision and total mentality of all the employees of our government is to serve and help those who are using the airport. If our lawmakers want to suggest anything, we will wait for their concrete proposal.”)