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Senate, House bills filed vs bullet-planting scam

As protectio against the "laglag-bala" or bullet planting scam, airport terminals offer luggage wrapping services at P160 per bag. Philstar.com/Efigenio Toledo IV

MANILA, Philippines — Separate bills have been filed before the Senate and House of Representatives against the "laglag-bala" or bullet planting scam at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

Sen. Paolo Benigno "Bam" Aquino IV on Tuesday filed Senate Bill No. 3000 or the "Iwas Tanim-Bala Bill" following the discovery of bullets in the luggage of unsuspecting passengers at the airport.

"Clearly, a scam that is unsupported of our efforts to raise government service standards for the Filipino people should be stopped immediately. As investigations have been ordered, it is also imperative to look at policy proposals and interventions that fully address the issue," Aquino said.

The senator added that such activities jeopardizing the safety and security of the public are unacceptable.

Bullet planting incidents are allegedly part of an extortion scheme of some airport personnel.

Meanwhile, Camarines Sur Rep. Maria Leonor "Leni" Robredo filed House Bill 6245 which seeks to decriminalize the possession of not more than three bullets.

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"Further occurrences of the tanim-bala scam will severely hamper our efforts to bolster tourism since NAIA is the gateway to the country," Robredo said.

The lawmaker also said that the bullet-planting scam abridges the Filipinos' constitutionally mandated right to freely travel and damages the reputation of the country. Several of the victims are foreigners staying in the country for their vacation.

Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya, Manila International Airport Authority general manager Jose Angel Honrado and other officials are facing criminal and administrative charges before the Office of the Ombudsman over the bullet planting scam.

RELATED: Bullets as amulets angle eyed in 'laglag-bala' probe | For P160, NAIA will wrap your luggage

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