Northbound Philippines News

President wants deeper probe into bullet-planting allegations at airport

President Benigno S. Aquino III meets with heads of agencies concerned Monday, November 2, 2015, to investigate the alledged tanim-bala incidents at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. Present during the meeting are PNP-Aviation Security Group Chief Supt. Pablo Francisco "Boyet" Balagtas, PNP Chief Ricardo Marquez, Airport Gen Manager Jose Angel Honrado, PMS Head Julia Abad, Cab Sec Jose Almendras, DILG Sec. Mel Senen Sarmiento, DOTC Sec. Jun Abaya and other cabinet members concerned. (Photo by Gil Nartea/Malacanang Photo Bureau)

MANILA — President Benigno S. Aquino III has instructed the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) to investigate the bullet-planting incidents at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

During a meeting in Malacañang on Monday, the President told DOTC Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya “to cast a wide net on the data on the allegations,” Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said.

“The President has been briefed and has given further instructions in order to refine the efforts under way. The DOTC, as the lead agency, will be updating the public,” Secretary Lacierda said during a media briefing at the Palace.

He said President Aquino was deeply concerned with the “laglag bala” allegations, the reason why he called a meeting with Secretary Abaya.

“May allegations of planting of bullets. You know the President’s attitude towards a problem… ang approach ng ating Pangulo tungkol sa ano mang problema would be — the correct identification of the problem leads to the correct identification of the solution. So, we are casting a wide net on the data, on the process and areas for improvements,” said Lacierda.

“The fact that the President called for a meeting shows his concern for what is happening there and he wants to make sure, he wants to verify and validate all the assumptions that have been put out in media. We are just being thorough and we want a thorough look at the whole situation so that proper solutions can be given and these are long-term solutions that can be put in place,” he added.

“These are assumptions that we need to validate. That is why we need to look at all the assumptions that were put out. We want to make sure that what measures that we are going to come up with are measures that in the long run would ensure the safety of each and every passenger and guarantee their security as they use the terminals,” the Palace official further said.

Lacierda stressed the importance of probing the allegations as he cited the case of a Japanese tourist who was reported to have been a victim of “laglag bala.”

“I can give you one instance of allegation of planting… The situation of the Japanese tourist na nailathalang nahulihan ‘yung Japanese tourist of — allegations of planting bullet na inimbestiga, inamin na po ‘yan na galing nga siya ng shooting range, nadala niya ‘yung bala mismo. So, there were no allegations of planting bullets. So, we have to look at all the assumptions na nilalabas ng media,” said Lacierda. PNA

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