Abaya: 'Laglag-bala' cases blown out of proportion
Patricia Lourdes Viray (Philstar.com) - November 3, 2015 - 11:06pm

MANILA, Philippines — Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya on Wednesday said cases of "laglag bala" or bullet planting in airport terminals "have been blown out of proportion."

Abaya said in a press conference that 0.004 percent of the 53.3 million passengers who went through Philippine airports in 2014 were caught with ammunition in their luggage.

He noted that an average of 1,500 cases of ammunition-related incidents in airports have been recorded annually.

Abaya cited the figures of an ammunition interception report:

  • 2015 - 1,394 cases
  • 2014 - 1,813 cases
  • 2013 - 2,184 cases
  • 2012 - 1,214 cases

Office for Transportation Undersecretary Administrator Rolando Recomono added that bullets being found in passengers' luggage is not uncommon.

Recomono said that a number of Filipinos have been caught carrying ammunition, using it as amulets or "anting-anting."

“It is incumbent upon us to look into the allegations and to make a determination of what actually happened. We cannot let these incidents slide," Abaya said.

The Transportation chief noted that the safety and peace of mind of every Filipino citizen is at stake.

"Any incident like this must impel government to examine its procedures, identify weaknesses and come up with solutions and innovations... We cannot simply demonize the people to whom we entrust our safety," Abaya said.

Abaya, Recomono, Manila International Airport Authority general manager Jose Angel Honrado and Philippine National Police-Aviation Security Group director Chief Supt. Pablo Francisco Balagtas are facing criminal and administrative charges before the Office of the Ombudsman over the bullet planting scheme.

RELATED: Senate, House bills filed vs bullet-planting scam

ABAYA CHIEF SUPT JOSE ANGEL HONRADO AND PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE-AVIATION SECURITY GROUP MANILA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT AUTHORITY OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN PABLO FRANCISCO BALAGTAS QUOT RECOMONO STRONG TRANSPORTATION SECRETARY JOSEPH EMILIO ABAYA TRANSPORTATION UNDERSECRETARY ADMINISTRATOR ROLANDO RECOMONO
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