A witness whose identity has not been disclosed for confidentiality purposes has supported the elderly couple who were barred from leaving the Ninoy Aquino Internal Airport (NAIA) after allegedly falling victim to the bullet-planting or “laglag bala” scam.
Chief Public Attorney Persida Rueda-Acosta said that the witness is one of the passengers who is on his way to the USA. Rueda-Acosta said that the witness had seen or heard the incident. No further details as regards the witness’s claims and statements were revealed. Rueda-Acosta said that more information will only be disclosed upon the completion and receipt of the witness’ full statement.
Elderly couple Esteban and Salvacion Cortabista are planning to file an extortion complaint against wheelchair attendant Niño Namba after the latter reportedly asked for P50,000 from the couple. Once the price is paid, the couple will then be released from detention and will be allowed to board their Korean Airlines flight to the US.
“They are ready to sue. We are waiting for the affidavit of the witness who was with them at the airport,” Acosta said.
The couple have been planning to go to San Diego, California, for quite some time now to seek for arthritis treatment. However, this plan is now far from being reached after they were prevented from leaving due to a bullet that was found in one of their carry-on bags at the final security check area.
“They were bound for San Diego in the US to seek treatment for severe arthritis. They’re not only senior citizens, they are also persons with disability since they could hardly walk,” Acosta said.
The Cortabistas denied the accusation and pointed out that they should have been apprehended at the first security check if they truly had a live bullet inside the carry-bag. Both pointed out that all their belongings underwent the x-ray machine without any hitches.
NAIA authorities also vowed to investigate the matter and look into the allegation filed against Namba.