By: Richie Lopa, InterAksyon.com
MANILA – Just days after 75-year-old Los Angeles bound passenger Salvacion Cortabista was apprehended at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 1 for allegedly possessing a live .38 caliber bullet in her handbag, another passenger was held by police authorities Saturday for a bullet in her check-in luggage at the initial x-ray at the departure area of Terminal 1.
The octogenarian passenger accompanied by her son and daughter was held briefly after members of the Office of Transportation Security (OTS) manning the initial X-ray found the bullet in her check-in luggage but later allowed to leave for humanitarian consideration.
Bryan Rivera, OTS security screening officer, called the attention of the owner of a green colored hard case luggage (without side pockets and having padlock) that belonged to Crisencia Pabustan, 85, a native of Pampanga and a balikbayan from Canada, after the image of the bullet appeared inside her luggage as shown in the x-ray monitor.
Pricilla Pabustan Velasco, 62 the grandma’s daughter became hysterical and quoted was saying “ako mismo ang nag impake ng bagahe namin. Papaano magkakaruon ng bullet dyan (I packed the baggage myself. How did that bullet come to be)?”
Anthony Pabustan, the son, even said, “may magic yata dito sa (there must be magic in this here) airport.”
OTS team leader Buenvenido Ross said that the hands-off policy applies in cases like this, and requested the daughter Pricilla to be the one to remove the bullet from her mother’s luggage for verification.
Ross said, “we wanted to help the old woman because, at her age, she will never put a bullet in her own luggage, but her daughter threw a tantrum as she even threatened to publicize the story in the Canadian newspapers.”
OTS then called the PNP, Airline representative and representative from the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) to conduct inspection procedures.
Police Inspector Rey Dooc inspected the bullet and later verified it as an “amulet”.
“The cal .45 bullet was without gunpowder and the bullet head had been replaced, so there was no liability because it was not a live bullet and not considered as ammunition,” Dooc said.
The police confiscated the amulet.
The family arrived at NAIA Terminal 1 around 7:45 am for their 12:00 noon flight for Canada via Taipei on board Eva Air Flight BR272.