Albay police chief recommends changing of guards in airport

LEGAZPI CITY — Anybody could be a victim of “tanim o laglag bala”, a modus operandi wherein the syndicate members put a bullet inside an innocent plane passenger’s baggage while in a checking point of the airport, the police chief of Albay said Thursday.

Police Sr. Supt. Marlo S. Meneses, PNP Albay provincial director, said this type of incident at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) has soiled the image of the Philippines.

Meneses suggested the replacement of the security personnel assigned at the NAIA because they cannot give solution to the dilemma which has been occurring for a long time now.

He said it is at the NAIA where the “planting” of bullets occur.

The PNP official recommended the deployment of a new group of security personnel, which could probably change the present situation.

Meneses, however, clarified that he is not recommending the PNP to take over but a new group, so that the public can see the change.

He pities the innocent victims, especially the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW), of the modus operandi at the airport, particularly the NAIA.

The Albay police director clarified that the security personnel and the one in-charge of the screening are not PNP members but elements of the aviation office or Office of the Transport Security.

Meneses wondered why in the three screening machines at the airport the bullets are found only at the second or last machine.

“Why was the bullet not seen through the first machine,” he said.

In this procedure, the problem, he said, is inside.

And if the bullet was able to pass the first and second machines, his recommendation is to file a case against persons assigned in the first and second machines.

Meneses said if the bullet was not seen through the first machine, the problem is inside and if through the first machine, a bullet already appears, this means that the bullet could have come from outside or upon entry and somebody has already placed a bullet at the baggage of the traveler.

This is aside from the case of those passengers who admitted to having a bullet as an amulet.

In this connection, Meneses requested the public, especially the media, not to say airport police as one may think that it refers to the PNP.

The police official explained that the PNP personnel at the airport serve only as backup and helps in the investigation because the police have the authority to investigate.

Like in the Legazpi Airport, he said, the police are at the entrance and in the tarmac of the facility.

Meneses said there has been no incident of laglag-bala or tanim-bala at the Legazpi Airport and he hopes this will continue.

He asked passengers to be extra careful. Nancy Ibo Mediavillo/PNA