- The President has ended bullet-planting scheme hounding passengers in NAIA and in other PH airports
- He ordered authorities not to arrest or detain passengers caught with bullets in their luggage
- Instead, they will be subjected to a quick profiling and then allowed to board their flights
MANILA, Philippines – In a move seen to end the controversial “tanim-bala” controversy hounding travelers in the country’s airports, President Rodrigo Duterte ordered authorities not to arrest or detain passengers caught with bullets in their luggage.
Instead, the passenger caught will only be subjected to an “immediate profiling” to ascertain whether he/she had any criminal intent or is linked to any terrorist or criminal group.
“The new policy is that if passengers will be caught carrying bullets, we would just confiscate them and let the passengers pass,” the Standard quoted Transportation Undersecretary Bobby Lim as saying.
According to new Aviation Security Group (Avsegroup) chief Senior Supt. Mao Aplasca, the president’s new order should effectively deter erring airport officials from planting bullets since they wouldn’t be able to detain them anymore.
“Laglag-bala modus operandi is a thing of the past and we assure the public that they no longer worry that they will miss their flight or get arrested at our airport for possession of an ammunition,” he said.
Aplasca also reassured the public that the passenger who might turn out to be a criminal or terrorist can easily be traced based on the paper he/she leaves anyway.
“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,” he said. “Our primary job here is to provide assistance and protect the public. We are not here to find fault or prosecute.”