Palace to airport authorities: Take 'corrective measures' to address 'tanim-bala'.
Airport authorities must take "corrective measures" and improve the screening of passengers after a criminal case against an overseas Filipno worker allegedly victimized by "tanim-bala" scam was dismissed, a Palace official said today, November 13, 2015.
The illegal possession of ammunition filed against Gloria Ortinez was recently junked by the Department of Justice for lack of probable cause.
Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya has already offered his apology to the 56-year-old Ortinez who was prevented from returning to her work in Hong Kong after a bullet was supposedly found in her luggage at the airport.
"I understand that Secretary Abaya apologized to one lady in particular. I am not sure if it was si Nanay Gloria," Valte said in a Palace press briefing.
"In any case, we will have to see how the other cases are dispensed, and certainly it will be a lesson for them as to how they should continue to improve the processes that OTS subjects passengers," she added.
On airport and security officials pointing fingers over the tanim-bala scam reported at the airport, Valte said: "What is important is that the President has already given instructions for them to take corrective measures to address this particular issue."
She noted that the government has already taken steps to improve airport security, such as prohibiting baggage inspectors from touching the passenger' bags. Only the passenger can touch the bag and remove items in case suspicious items are found during screening.
"Right now, they already have a hands-off policy in terms of luggage that is being screened. However, to my knowledge, there are still apprehensions relative to bullets -- singular bullets that are being carried," she said.
"On another matter, the MIAA is now going to implement a 'last look' bin that will enable passengers to take a last look, essentially, at their luggage and to dispose off any -- should there be any inadvertent insertions, if you may call it that, before they undergo screening," she added.
Valte said she hopes these new airport screening measures would address the concerns of the riding public. "These agencies will continue to improve and will continue to thresh out policies to address these particular issues," she said.
MB FILE -- A porter tends to empty luggage carts as passengers entering the departure area of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 develop a growing insecurity of having their bags handled by anyone else for fear of being victimized by the so-called 'tanim-bala' scheme. (Ali Vicoy)