If you’re planning a trip to the Philippines any time soon, beware of NAIA employees and their scams. Some workers at the the Ninoy Aquino International Airport have been extorting money from travelers by planting bullets in their luggage.
Last month, American missionary Lane Michael White accused NAIA security personnel of planting a bullet in his luggage in a bid to extort P30,000 from him.
The 20-year-old White, however, refused to pay, and spent 6 days at the NAIA terminal 1 police aviation facility until he posted a P40,000-bail.
Wheelchair bound, Fil-Am Rhed Austria De Guzman, a balikbayan from California, stated that NAIA security claimed to discover two bullets in her baggage when it went through the X-ray machine.
When she denied she put them there, she said NAIA2 personnel asked for P500, in exchange for glossing over the alleged lapse. Even as she pleaded innocence, De Guzman said she paid them just to get it over it.
De Guzman has returned to the Philippines to face the NAIA employees that tormented her.
White and De Guzman were victims of the ‘Laglag Bala’ scam that was carried out by NAIA Terminal personnel.
Sen. Ralph Recto will file a resolution seeking an investigation of abuses allegedly committed by NAIA employees against tourists and balikbayans.
Recto said bullet planting is punishable by life imprisonment under Section 38 of Republic Act 10591 or the Firearms Law.
“The law says that if you are a public official and you plant a bullet on the person or property of an individual for the purpose of framing him up, you go to jail for life. It only takes a bullet and you will be spending the rest of your life behind bars,” he said.
Recto said the airport personnel who planted a bullet in the bags of an American missionary and a balikbayan should be punished if proven that they committed the crime.
He cited the complaints filed by travelers such as pilferage of baggage, forced shepherding of passengers into unaccredited taxis and illegal searches for huge amounts of cash.
Recto said the allegations should be investigated because the agencies, which are supposed to protect airline passengers “have failed to curb the abuses on their own.”