MANILA — The “tanim-bala” extortion scheme,which involves the planting of bullets in passengers’ luggage, will not be tolerated under the Duterte administration, Special Assistant to the President (SAP) Christopher “Bong” Go said Saturday.
Go made this remark following a report that passenger Kristine Bumanglag-Moran was recently caught with a bullet in her luggage on Friday afternoon.
Bumanglag-Moran posted about her experience on a Facebook status and it has since then gone viral.
“We reiterate – the Duterte Administration will never tolerate this modus operandi,” Go said in a statement noting that the Office of the President has ordered concerned agencies to address the concern within 24 hours.
“We are expecting them to comply or face the consequences,” he added.
Go also warned extortionists that President Rodrigo R. Duterte himself said he would let them “eat” the bullets if it happens again.
“Sinabi na ng Pangulong Duterte noon, na pag nangyari pa ito, ipapakain niya yung bala sa taong gumawa (President Duterte previously said that if this happens again, he will let the persons responsible eat the bullets) and I assure everyone, he will really do it,” Go said.
MIAA to check complaint
The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA), for its part, assured that it would have the Office for Transportation Security (OTS) check on the veracity of the claim as a matter of procedure,
“The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) shall assist the OTS by conducting a parallel probe to bring out the truth to the claim. We shall coordinate with the passenger directly for the result of investigations,” MIAA said in a statement Saturday.
“We assure the public that ‘tanim-bala’ is a thing of the past. Passengers found to have bullets or bullet-like items in their bags are now allowed to take their flight after proper logging of the incident. Prohibited items like bullets or ammunition whether as amulets or for any purpose are subject for confiscation,” MIAA’s statement added.
MIAA reminded the public that finding bullets or bullet-like items was not “unusual” in NAIA noting that records show that some passengers still carry these items in their bags claiming that they serve as amulets. PNA-northboundasia.com