‘Tanim-Bala’ Arrests Continue at NAIA

By Bing Jabadan

THREE more passengers were caught carrying bullets inside their bags at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

Overseas Filipino worker Marc Angelo Unida, 27, was about to board his flight bound for San Francisco, USA around 8:26 p.m. on November 20 at the NAIA Terminal 2 when airport authorities noticed on the x-ray monitor an image of ammunition inside his black sling bag. Unida voluntarily inspected his bag and found a bullet of 9mm caliber.

Another passenger, Josephine Agbayani, 52, was placed under arrest on November 23 after she was caught with a bullet inside her shoulder bag at the NAIA Terminal 3.

On the same day, Gerald Ubarde, 25, was a departing passenger for Macau around 4:40 p.m., also at the NAIA Terminal 3, where he was apprehended for having a .40 caliber bullet inside his pouch bag.

But Pasay City prosecutors dismissed the charges filed by the Aviation Security Group against Agbayani and Ubarde for lack of probable cause while Unida was ordered release from detention pending further investigation of his case.

Pasay City Prosecutors had also dismissed the case of Hong Kong-bound overseas Filipino worker Gloria Ortinez, who was detained for two days after a bullet found in her hand carry bag last month.

Two members of the Avsegroup –Careen De Padua and Rommel Ballesteros– were relieved from their post after the bullet in the investigation report on the case of Ortinez did not match with the one presented before the prosecutor’s office.

Lawyer Spocky Farolan said Ortinez didn’t own the bullet and claimed his client was a victim of the so-called “tanim-bala” scam at the airport.

Farolan lambasted President Benigno S. Aquino III, who said “the number of alleged bullet scam victims is a small percentage of NAIA passengers.”

Farolan said “nakakagalit siya [Pnoy] nakakalungkot nakaka frustrate, paano niya nakakaya na maliitin o i-demean ang halaga ng buhay ng isang tao. Ang isang biktima ng isang kamalian ay isang biktima ng kamalian, tao iyan na may pakiramdam, may pamilyang apektado, may buhay na nasisira, paano niya maliliitin ‘yun lalo na siya ang ama ng buong bayan tapos ipagmamalaki niya na boss niya ang buong bayan.”

“Kung ganon ang logic niya eh ‘di bumalik tayo sa August 1983, wala pang binabaril at pinapatay sa airport noon. Libo libo ang lumilipad dyan palabas at papasok ng bansa, statistic ito ha, noong August 1983 may pinatay na dalawa iyong isa pababa ng eroplano yung isang nag-aantay sa baba, parehong namatay kung statistic ito, wala tayo dapat pakialam doon, kaso yung pagkamatay ng dalawang tao na iyon lalo na yung taong naglakad pababa ng eroplano tinaniman ng bala sa katawan ‘yun ang nagbalik ng demokrasya sa ating bansa,” Farolan said.


(Source: HongkongNews.com.hk)

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