Monday, November 23, 2015

After APEC, Seaman Going to the US nabbed for bullet possession in NAIA (Tanim Bala Scam)

MANILA - Business as usual in Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), hours after the last group of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) delegates left the country, a departing overseas Filipino worker was caught on Friday evening at the airport for alleged possession of a bullet.

Mark Angelo Yunida, a seaman bound for San Francisco, California, managed to pass through the initial security check at the departure area of Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 2 without problem. However, after getting clearance from the immigration counter, a bullet for a 9mm caliber pistol was found with his wallet as he was passing through the final security check.

Yunida denied owning the ammunition and claimed that an unidentified person bumped him right after he checked in at the airline counter.

Charges were formally filed by airport authorities today at the Pasay Prosecutor's Office against Yunida.


Sunday, November 22, 2015

Congress Waiting for go signal for "tanim-bala" Inquiry

The House Committees on Good Government and Public Accountability and Transportation are waiting for House leadership instructions to start the probe on the infamous tanim-bala (bullet planting) scam that are prevalent at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

Pampanga Congressman Oscar Rodriguez, chairman of the House Committee on Good Government and Catanduanes Congressman Cesar Sarmiento, chairman of the House Committee on Transportation which initially conducted a hearing on “tanim-bala” incidents at NAIA last September, said the 9 resolutions have yet to be referred to their respective committees.

“The probe has yet to be scheduled. Once the resolutions are referred to us, we would immediately start the investigation,” Rodriguez said in an interview.

Sarmiento said they are waiting for the House Committee on Rules’ go-signal to jumpstart the investigation. The Rules Committee is headed by House Majority Leader and Mandaluyong Rep. Neptali “Boyet” Gonzales II.

“It is still with the Rules Committee,” Sarmiento said.

Both Rodriguez and Sarmiento expressed readiness to conduct a full-blown probe on the bullet scam.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

NAIA Bullet Planting Scam (Tanim Bala) Philippine Senate Hearing

Thursday (November 12) the first Senate hearing on the NAIA Bullet Planting Scam (Tanim Bala) that is rampant in Manila airport NAIA was held and Senators are disappointed that airport officials and airport security are not coordinating about the problem.

Resource speaker in attendance are victims 20-year-old missionary Lane Michael White, his father and his stepmother. Lane's stepmother took a cellphone video on what have transpired in the x-ray , she said that it Lane's bag was scanned multiple times with no bullets but when the x-ray personnel place his hands inside the suitcase then re-scanned it, a .22 calibre bullet was seen inside Mr White’s suitcase, which leads to his detainment and interrogation. The cellphone video was filmed on September 17.

The stepmother of an American tourist detained in the Philippines has put forward supposed video evidence showing airport officials allegedly planting a bullet in his luggage. The stepmother said that the airport police are suggesting her to delete the video and just admit the bullet was from his stepson.

Senator Teofisto Guingona III said that there is a failure of the system, since officials are pointing fingers when the Senator asked about a CCTV footage showing a bullet being found in the luggage of American missionary Lane Michael White. It seems the officials don't want the scam to be exposed to the public.

Honrado said the footage was with the OTS. Remono, however, said the footage was not within OTS jurisdiction. Honrado later admitted that MIAA was responsible for operating the CCTVs and they had the original footage.

Guingona had the tapes subpoenaed.

Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. questioned Honrado on why he did not look into the case of overseas Filipino worker (OFW) Gloria Ortinez. Honrado replied and said that he had no control over the police Aviation Security Group and the OTS saying his job entailed simply coordination and discussion of issues.

It seems that this problem is not going away soon since officials are protecting the syndicate that is behind this scam.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Fox News and other Foreign News Reported about NAIA Manila Airport Bullet Planting Scam; Naia syndicate confirmed

WATCH: The Philippines may get mad at me, but this airport bullet planting scam deserves to be called out! [please...
Posted by Greta Van Susteren on Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Fox News anchor Greta Van Susteren who offended Thailand by saying it is “the lamest country of the day,” has set her sights on another Asian country and this time it's the Philippines.  She called out the NAIA Manila (Ninoy Aquino International Airport) airport personnel for being allegedly involve in the Bullet Planting (laglag bala) extortion scheme

The extortion scam happens when airport employees plant bullets in the bags of unsuspecting international travelers, once they go through X-Ray scan obviously they will get flagged. Then the airport security will let them choose go to jail or “pay a fine.”

The Facebook video has now been viewed more than 4.6 million times, it has more than 176,000 shares.

A former criminal defense and civil trial lawyer, Susteren was named Forbes' 99th most powerful woman in the world in September.

Here's another video of Greta about the scam:

WATCH: Another night going after the Philippines! What will it take to protect innocent travelers? If you haven't already liked my Facebook page, do so now so you'll never miss an update on this story!
Posted by Greta Van Susteren on Thursday, November 5, 2015

Another news this time in Japan, reported the NAIA Manila Airport Bullet Planting Scam complete with reenactment which is somewhat funny but embarrassing towards the NAIA staff. The video was shared by Facebook user Shinjoy Noisap Martinez.

Nakakahiya n tlga ang bansang pilipinas balitang balita n pati dto sa japan ang isyu ng laglag bala n yan.tlagang iminuwestra pa kung paano ang ginagawang pambbiktima sa loob ng airport.
Posted by Shinjoy Noisap Martinez on Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Meanwhile, initial findings by agents of the National Bureau of Investigation reveal that some porters identify potential victims of the “tanim-bala” (bullet-planting) scam and accomplices in the security and immigration services take over from them inside the four terminals of Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia).

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

UN Issue Warnings to Staff against bullet planting scam at NAIA Manila Airport

The United Nations Department of Safety and Security (UNDSS) released a memo to staff members warning them of the "tanim-bala" (bullet-planting scam) scheme that are allegedly carried out by Aiport Security to extort money from passengers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

They also advised their staff members to secure their bags by wrapping them in plastic.

"Staff members are advised to keep your luggage with you, lock your luggage, and consider wrapping your luggage in plastic as an extra security measure," the UNDSS said in a statement Tuesday.

The tanim-bala (bullet planting) scam, has already victimized hundred of ordinary travelers, overseas Filipino workers (OFW) as well as foreigners. The passenger if caught will then be forced to choose between facing an investigation or paying a bribe.

The advisory was first reported by Floyd Whaley, a senior correspondent of The New York Times, in his Twitter account.

“United Nations advises staff using Manila airport to ‘keep your luggage with you, lock your luggage, and consider wrapping your luggage,’” Whaley said in his tweet.

Whaley eventually posted a copy of the internal memo from the UN Department of Safety and Security ( with the subject “SECURITY ADVISORY: Naia-Bullets in luggage.”

Monday, November 2, 2015

People Caught with Bullets in bags in NAIA increase by 775% in 2015

MANILA, Philippines — The number of people arrested for having bullets in bags at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) have increased more than 775% in 2015.
(NAIA Manila Airport Bullet Planting Scam Rise 775% in 2015)

Those apprehended with bullets in their luggage has increased up to a staggering 775% this year, from only 12 incidents in 2014 to 105 cases from January to November this year, data from the Philippine National Police Aviation Security Group showed. But still the airport police aren’t convinced there’s an extortion racket behind it.

In a press briefing at the Philippine National Police (PNP) headquarters on Monday, Supt. Jeanne Panisan, spokesman of the police unit at the airport, the Aviation Security Group (Avsegroup), said that for the whole of 2014, the Avsegroup made only 12 apprehensions for illegal possession of ammunition. From January to November 2015, however, the Avsegroup already made 30 apprehensions for the offense.

Asked for the reason behind the sudden leap in numbers, Panisan shared her “impression” that security screeners, from the Office for Transportation Security (OTS), have stepped up their duties since the implementation of the new Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act, approved in 2013.

Under the updated law, possession of a single live bullet could merit an P80,000 bail, P200,000 if the suspect was a foreigner, Panisan said.

Panisan dismissed allegations that an airport-based “syndicate” has been operating a “laglag bala” (planting of bullets) extortion racket. “Based on our investigation [before], it was never proven. No one was ever implicated,” Panisan said.

Panisan explained OTS personnel under the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) have been tasked to screen passengers’ baggage. “We [the PNP Avsegroup] have no part in the actual security screening….[The Avsegroup] are only called in if there is a [discovered] violation of procedures, such as the bringing in of bullets, guns, or explosives,” Panisan said.

Based on the testimony and evidence furnished by the OTS security screeners, the Avsegroup apprehends the suspect and files the complaint in the Pasay prosecutor’s office.

From the passengers’ entry into the airport and as they pass through security screenings, only the passengers themselves carry their own baggage, unless they hire porters, according to Panisan. Even after the security officers see something suspicious in the X-ray, and take a screenshot of it, they will still the Avsegroup first before having the bag opened by the passengers themselves.  “How can you plant a bullet then?” Panisan said, rhetorically, in Filipino.

Asked why passengers would keep bringing the contraband to the airport, Panisan surmised: “With all due respect to our countrymen, our belief in amulets go deep.”

Panisan, however, clarified that the Avsegroup would only file a criminal complaint against those in possession of a “complete” or live bullet. Empty shells — which are usually the ones turned into amulets — only get confiscated and “documented.”

Panisan advised: “When you travel, be sure you’re the ones who pack your bags. It’s common to borrow bags….but ensure that it is empty.” She suggested that passengers wrap or lock their bags “so there would be no reason to say a bullet had been planted.”

Meanwhile, Chief Supt. Wilben Mayor, PNP spokesperson, explained that under the Firearms law, “intention [for the ammunition possession] does not matter.”

“[The intention] is not taken into consideration. The mere possession of prohibited item is already a violation of the law. Of course we sympathize with countrymen who get caught, but the law is strict,” Mayor said.

“Of course, if there are those in our group who violated [laws], we will welcome an investigation. Our intention is the same. Our org has been affected. We appeal to public, let us not prejudge. Let us wait for investigation that will be conducted. We want the truth to come out so we will know who is the culprit,” Mayor said.

Mayor, in a phone interview, added that there were legal “remedies” also available to those who were victimized by the supposed extortion scam. “If you think you’re aggrieved, you can file a case against the person who did it,” the police spokesperson said. “Assuming you can identify the person, file a complaint for planting of evidence…or civil damages if you missed your flight.”

But Mayor also reminded: “You must be able to establish sufficient evidence” for such complaints.

This will scam will surely hit tourism in the Philippines it is now reported on major news like:

19-year-old Girl Victimized in NAIA Manila airport Bullet Planting Scam

NAIA (Ninoy Aquino International Airport) Manila's airport for two years in the row was voted as the worst airport in the world (Sleeping in Airports), this year due to minor facelift they actually improved for the worst to the 8th worst airport in Asia. But now NAIA seems to want to achieve the top spot again with a new scam called "lag lag bala (Bullet Planting Scam)" believed to be executed by airport security guards and other airport employees. Once the bag planted with bullets gone through security x-ray checkpoint the bullet will be found and victims will be threatened with charges of illegal possession of ammunition unless they pay a fine.

Victims reported on the media now includes:

- 20-year-old Lane Michael White who is a American missionary, Office for Transportation Security (OTS) of the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) found  .22-cal. bullet found inside his baggage. He was jailed for 6 days and got out only after posting a P40,000 bail.

- Rhed Austria de Guzman a Wheelchair-bound American woman who bribed an OTS with P500 so that she'll be cleared for her flight back to California. Two .22-caliber bullets were found in one of the pockets of her luggage.

- Gloria Ortinez, a 56-year-old domestic worker who is going to Hong Kong to return to her job as stopped at the airport after a bullet was found in her carry-on luggage.

- Kazunobu Sakamoto, a 33-year-old Japanese tourist, was also arrested after two bullets were discovered inside the pocket of a shirt folded in his luggage.

- 19-year-old girl who is a student was also stopped and wasn't able to board the plane when a bullet was found inside her sling bag discovered by NAIA Terminal 3 personnel. She is a member of Los Cantates de Manila choir and was on her way for an international competition in Busan, South Korea.

- 60-year-old engineer Augusto Dagan was arrested by authorities at the Davao International Airport after he was found with two 9-millimeter bullets inside his luggage. It is believed that the bullets were planted in NAIA but the bullets was discovered in Davao.

A source said that this scam has been going on even before and they target 20 victims a day.