Press Release
October 31, 2015


Sen. Francis "Chiz" Escudero said officials and personnel of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) should stop "assassinating" Filipinos going through the airport like Ninoy Aquino who was shot dead at the airport tarmac on Aug. 21, 1983.

Escudero was referring to the recently exposed practice of unscrupulous airport personnel who slip bullets into the baggage of Filipinos and foreign nationals going through the NAIA to extort money.

"Planting bullets in the baggage of Filipinos and tourists passing through the Ninoy Aquino International Airport is a great disservice to the memories of the late Ninoy Aquino who died from bullets fired by dishonorable men," the veteran senator said.

"The government must seriously act now to stop these figurative assassinations of Filipinos and tourists. We must hold accountable to the fullest extent of the law these dishonorable airport officials and personnel," said Escudero, an independent candidate for vice president.

In connection with the airport security preparations for the upcoming meetings of the Asia Pacific Economic Conference, Escudero said that intense and complex security preparations for the high-profile international event should begin with addressing this new modus operandi of "tanim-bala" at the airport.

Before the formal events on Nov. 17-20, staff members, technical experts, and senior officials of the APEC participating countries are expected to arrive way ahead of their presidents and prime ministers.

Escudero put to task airport manager Jose Angel Honrado to investigate various incidents of "planting bullet" and dismissed dishonest airport personnel involved in this deplorable practice victimizing overseas Filipino workers and tourists.

The practice of airport personnel "planting bullets" in baggage came to light with the arrest of Kazunobu Sakamoto, 33, of Tokyo, by members of the Philippine National Police-Aviation Security Group (PNP-AVSEGROUP). Sakamoto was arrested following allegations by personnel of the Office of Transportation Security (OTS) that his luggage showed images of bullets for a 9mm pistol after passing through X-ray scanning machines.

Earlier, OFW Gloria Ortinez, 56, was prevented from boarding her plane bound for Hong Kong after a bullet for a carbine rifle was allegedly found in her hand-carried bag.

These were only two of the reported incidents which have alarmed groups advocating the rights of overseas Filipino workers.

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