- Senior Superintendent Mao Aplasca said that passengers who are caught possessing bullets in their luggage will not be arrested anymore, as per President Rodrigo Duterte's order
- The passengers who possess bullets with them will undergo immediate profiling and would be allowed to board their flights if no firearm was confiscated
- MIAA, CAAP, and the transportation department are set to form a joint team for a regular security planning in Philippine airports
President Rodrigo Duterte has prohibited authorities from arresting passengers and charging them in court once they are proved to be possessing bullets in their luggage, said Senior Superintendent Mao Aplasca.
Aplasca, the newly assigned director of the police Aviation Security Group (Avsegroup), said that passengers who are caught possessing ammunition will not have their flights delayed but will undergo immediate profiling instead to clear them from criminal intentions with regards to carrying the bullet and to validate that they do not have any relations to any terrorist or criminal groups.
After undergoing immediate profiling, the passengers will be allowed to travel and board their set flight if no firearm is confiscated with the ammunition.
"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," Aplasca said.
Duterte has been vocal in addressing his concerns regarding the ‘tabim bala scam’ even before the elections. He said that he will have the perpetrators swallow the bullets once they are caught. He has then urged incumbent president Benigno Aquino III to address the issue as the scam has caused embarrassment for the country.
According to Aplasca, the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA), Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), and the transportation department will collaborate and form a joint team to conduct regular security planning for airports in the country.
American Lane Michael White has recently filed a complaint against several airport officers, accusing them of planting the bullets in passengers’ luggage and allegedly asking them for money in exchange of a record-free passport and their release.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) has dismissed the complaint, White, providing insufficient evidence against SPO2 Rolando A. Clarin, P/CINSP Adriano Junio, SPO4 Ramon Bernardo, and SPO2 Romy Navarro of the Philippine National Police Aviation Security Group (PNP-AVSEGROUP). - AA, Kami Media