MANILA — A new policy being implemented in luggage screening is seen to rid once and for all the so-called “tanim-bala” (bullet-planting scheme) at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
Newly installed Philippine National Police-Aviation Security Group (PNP-Avsegroup) Director General Senior Supt. Mao Aplasca made this assurance to passengers traveling by air that they will no longer be extorted.
“The new policy is to look at the background of people (caught carrying bullets) before they are prosecuted. For example, the elderly are very unlikely to have criminal or terroristic intentions,” Aplasca told reporters in an interview on Thursday.
Aplasca said President Rodrigo Duterte and Transportation Sec. Arthur Tugade ordered to end immediately these extortion attempts at the country’s premier airport.
“If we do not find a hint that they are part of criminal or terrorist elements, we will release them. Anyway, they can be traceable based on documents they have,” Aplasca said.
They will profile all incidents and choose those that will be filed in courts, he said.
“Our primary job here is to provide assistance and protect the public. We are not here to find fault or prosecute… We equally assure that the public is protected of criminal elements and terrorist intentions,” Aplasca said.
The director general, however, advised the public to remain vigilant and proactive in checking their luggage. Azer Parrocha/PNA/northboundasia.com