MIAA won’t hesitate to sack all employees involved in ‘Laglag Bala’ modus

MANILA — The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) on Friday warned there will be no sacred cows in its move to identify airport employees who are involved in unscrupulous activities particularly the ‘Laglag Bala’ or bullet-planting scheme.

“I will not hesitate to immediately remove from their posts those found at fault,” MIAA general manager Jose Angel Honrado said in a statement sent to media.

While ensuring the persecution of the scheme’s perpetrators, Honrado said that he shares the sentiment of “innocent” employees and encouraged them to be vigilant and report all anomalous behavior to law enforcers or to their immediate supervisors for appropriate action.

“I write to address all airport employees – regardless of agency affiliation – to let you know that the airport management is one with its people in this moment of difficulty,” the MIAA chief said.

“I understand that, because of this, many among you have become a victim of insults from the suspicious riding public as you go about your job,” he added.

The MIAA chief also said that the innocent should “remain calm and resolute in difficult times.”

“Our passengers need to know by your example that our commitment to their safety and convenience continues to be genuine. I appeal to you to stay true to your responsibility of serving our passengers,” Honrado said.

He also assured passengers that all concerned agencies – MIAA, the Office for Transportation Security (OTS), the Aviation Security Group, and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) – are working together to solve the case.

OTS Undersecretary Roland Recomono earlier expressed hope that the cases of bullet-planting in the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) won’t affect the morale employees particularly screening inspectors.

The OTS, also under the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), is the single authority responsible for the security of the transportation systems of the country, including civil aviation.

“I don’t want them to suffer from low morale because this will eventually affect their performance,” Recomono told the Philippines News Agency in a chance interview.

“If you could just imagine the snowball effect,” he added.

DOTC Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya also said that allegations to those tasked with security were most likely to suffer from lower morale.

Abaya stressed that while the goal was to ensure that both local and foreign tourists can travel without any unease, it is also necessary for screeners and employees to maintain heightened alert and safety in airports. Azer N. Parrocha/PNA