Airport personnel charged over ‘laglag-bala’ of 2 senior citizens

MANILA, Philippines — Criminal charges were filed against the airport officials and employees who were implicated in the alleged conspiracy of the “Tanim-Bala” at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) to two senior citizen spouses.

In a manifestation filed before the Department of Justice (DOJ)-Pasay City Prosecutor’s Office, charged were wheelchair attendant Nino Namba and Airport inspectors Ferdinand Morales and Fatti Dame Go.

The complaint was filed by 75-year old Salvacion Cortabista, who was accompanied by Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) Chief Atty. Persida V. Rueda-Acosta.

Namba, Morales and Go were charged with violation of Section 38, of Republic Act No. 10591, or “Planting of Evidence”, Article 294 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC) under the crime of “Robbery with Intimidation of a Person”, and Article 287 of the RPC under “Unjust Vexation and Damages”.

“Wherefore, premises considered, complainant respectfully prays of this Honorable Office that the foregoing manifestation be Duly Noted, and her allegations be found sufficient to warrant the filing of criminal charges with damages against Nino Namba, Ferdinand Morales, and Fatti Dame Go,” the complaint said.

Salvacion narrated that she is supposed to fly to Los Angeles, California last April 19, along with her 78-year old husband and niece.

She said that she is suffering from severe arthritis and asked Namba to help them with their bags and push the wheelchair.

Suprisingly, at the final x-ray screening machine, a live bullet was allegedly detected inside her handbag by Morales a member of Office of the Transportation Security (OTS).

“Morales, and another OTS Member, Fatti Dame Go, together with Namba, implied to Salvacion and her niece Maria Fe Balagot, that more than PHP50,000 would ‘settle’ the case,” the complaint added.

They refused to give in to the demand until they were charged before the DOJ despite their claim that they do not know where the bullet came from.

Salvacion pleaded for the dismissal of the case against her for lack of probable cause.

Salvacion personally appeared before the Office of DOJ Assistant Chief State Prosecutor Theodore Villanueva.

In her nine-page document, Acosta said that there is no evidence against her client and the case must be dismissed.

“Wherefore, respondent respectfully prays of this Honorable Office that his Manifestation be Noted and Considered, and that the instant case be Dismissed for utter lack of merit,” the document said. PNA/