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Pasay court orders bullet victim to reply on NAIA screeners' motion

Mike Frialde (Philstar.com) - November 25, 2015 - 1:35am

MANILA, Philippines - Pasay City Regional Trial Court Branch 119 Judge Pedro Gutierrez on Wednesday ordered the lawyers of American missionary Lane Michael White, to submit within three days a reply to the comment earlier filed by two Office of Transport Security (OTS) employees.

OTS employees have opposed White’s motion to have the case of illegal possession of ammunition filed against him dismissed.

Judge Gutierrez also ordered Ernesto Arellano, the lawyer of the 20-year old missionary, to furnish the court a copy of the result of an investigation done by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) into the so-called “laglag-bala” (bullet planting) at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

It would be recalled that White, who hails from Florida, was earlier arrested while he was with his father, also an American pastor, and Filipino stepmother at the domestic terminal.

The three had come from the United States and were supposed to board a plane for Coron, Palawan province.

White’s camp has accused OTS airport baggage inspectors Maria Elma Cena and Marvin Garcia of allegedly “planting” a .22 cal. bullet in White’s baggage after it went through the X-ray scanner in the departure area of NAIA Terminal 4 last September 17.

After six days in detention following his arrest, White posted bail and personally went to the NBI and filed a counter-complaint for planting of evidence against Cena and Garcia.

In his order last October 21, Judge Gutierrez gave Cena and Garcia, who are acting as the private complainants in the case, ten days upon receipt of the order within which to file their comment or opposition to the motion for reinvestigation filed by White’s camp.

Meanwhile, Arellano lashed at President Benigno Aquino III for saying that the "laglag-bala" or bullet planting issue in the country's airports have been "sensationalized."

The president added that the allegations of extortion at the NAIA have yet to be proven.

Aquino pointed out that only about 1,200 out of 34 million passengers every year have been apprehended for possession of ammunition at the NAIA.

“Ang tingin ko that that is a very irresponsible statement from the President of the Philippines. More responsible sana sabi niya dahil sa mga ganyang pangyayari, we will fully investigate,” he said. 

ACIRC CENA AND GARCIA ERNESTO ARELLANO JUDGE GUTIERREZ JUDGE PEDRO GUTIERREZ LANE MICHAEL WHITE MARIA ELMA CENA AND MARVIN GARCIA NATIONAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION NINOY AQUINO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT OFFICE OF TRANSPORT SECURITY PASAY CITY REGIONAL TRIAL COURT BRANCH
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