OTS expertise

THAT DOES IT - Korina Sanchez - The Freeman

As if on cue, after President Aquino belittled the "tanim-bala scam" at the NAIA, saying that reports were sensationalized, a seaman bound for the US became yet another apparent victim of the proliferate scam. The US bound passenger actually passed the initial screening. But after clearing immigration and proceeding to the final screening, alas, another bullet was found on his person. His wallet contained a 9mm bullet. Denying it was his, he went further to say that someone bumped into him just before he entered the final screening. He now faces charges of we already know what. 

His story lends credence to the exposure of a former employee of the Office for Transportation Security, that bullets are planted on potential victims. Why would someone pass the initial screening and not the final one? Are passengers that daft in thinking they can now bring out their well hidden bullets after the initial screening? Or is it more plausible that there are seasoned reverse-pickpockets that are skillfully able to plant single bullets into anyone? With the kind of people managing the airport, I believe they would accept the former, that passengers are just plain stupid.

I would accept that thinking for those who admit carrying bullets as amulets or good-luck charms. Obviously, they do not work in an airport. But for those with absolutely no reason to bring a single bullet, especially to a country awash with guns and ammunition, officials cannot seem to see beyond reason and common sense. I would even think that the bullet-planting scam may even be more intentionally active if only to justify the continued existence of the OTS. But they have another issue at hand.

If they are so adept at discovering single pieces of ammunition, they cannot seem to find bags of illegal drugs that pass through their eagle-eyed inspections. Recently, two Thai nationals were arrested after 2.6 kilograms of cocaine were found in their luggage. They both came from Manila. Surprise, surprise. If you will recall, four Filipinos were recently arrested in Hong Kong after their baggage yielded 2.5 kilograms of cocaine. Asked why the OTS screeners did not detect the contraband, the brilliant OTS administrator said that they would only register as an "organic substance" on their scanners, therefore not considered forbidden on an aircraft. Their expertise is limited to known forbidden items like bullets, and not cocaine. I still have to get over that one.

Apparently, these Thais took to heart what the OTS administrator said and decided they could bring 2.6 kilograms of cocaine on board without any problems, because Filipino OTS screeners just do not have the expensive, extensive, highly specialized training needed to discover kilos of cocaine inside baggage. Now, the OTS is conducting an investigation into what it calls "an alarming series of drug smuggling incidents at the NAIA". Now they're alarmed. Several OTS personnel are currently being investigated. But wait, since they are not trained to discover cocaine, then why should they be investigated? Any baggage filled with kilograms of cocaine will slip right through the OTS, because they are not trained, right? So what is there to investigate, if they were just doing the job they know oh so well to do, finding bullets, and not cocaine? I guess we all know where this "investigation" is headed.

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