© Copyright, 2015 (PHNO)
 http://newsflash.org | APEC NOVEMBER 18 -19, 2015


PHNO HEADLINE NEWS THIS PAST WEEK
(Mini Reads followed by Full Reports below)

NBI LOOKING AT SABOTAGE VS ADMIN, PRESIDENTIAL BET MAR ROXAS IN 'TANIM-BALA'
[Abaya, president of the administration Liberal Party, and airport general manager Jose Angel Honrado have refused to resign over the scandal. Malacañang has also rejected calls for their replacement. Caparas said the DOJ has tapped prosecutors at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) to attend to bullet possession incidents.]


NOVEMBER 14 -Naval Special Operations Group patrol boats take position along the ‘no-sail’ restricted zone in Manila Bay, near the venues of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Manila yesterday. EDD GUMBAN
 - Amid accusations that airport personnel are demanding up to P80,000 and even sex in an extortion racket using the planting of bullets in passenger bags, the government is pursuing suspicions that politics may be playing a role in the “tanim-bala” racket.
A special team of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is looking into this possibility after receiving information that the incidents may be part of a plot to sabotage or destabilize the administration supposedly in relation to next year’s general elections. Department of Justice (DOJ) spokesman Emmanuel Caparas said the NBI probe is not confined to the alleged operations of a tanim-bala syndicate, but also covers the sabotage or destabilization angle. “Yes, that is one of the angles being pursued by the NBI,” Caparas confirmed to The STAR yesterday. He did not give further details so as not to jeopardize the ongoing probe. He also did not confirm if there is proof gathered by investigators to bolster this angle. An American missionary and an overseas Filipino worker testified at the Senate the other day that they were victims of tanim-bala. But the NBI is pursuing suspicions that political rivals of the Aquino administration could be behind the incidents supposedly to discredit and elicit public distrust against the administration and its presidential bet, former interior and local governments secretary Manuel Roxas II. Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya, whose resignation is being demanded by various sectors over problems besetting the airport and other aspects of transportation, has said he does not believe there is a tanim-bala syndicate at the airport. READ MORE...

ALSO: ‘Tanim-bala’ victims detail extortion try at Naia in Senate probe


NOVEMBER 12 -LAGLAG BALA INQUIRY: Lane Michael White (left), 20, tells senators how airport authorities asked him to pay P30,000 in exchange for his freedom for allegedly carrying a bullet inside his bag at theNinoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA). Lane, together with his step-mother Eloisa Zoleta (center), and father Ryan White (right) attended a Senate inquiry into the “laglag bala” incidents at the NAIAThursday, November 12, 2015. (PRIB Photo by Alex NuevaEspaña)
Victims of the alleged “tanim-bala” scam at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) recounted during a Senate investigation on Thursday how airport security personnel tried to extort money from them and made them admit to owning the bullets found in their luggage. Lane Michael White with his father Ryan and stepmother Eloisa Zoleta faced the joint hearing of the Senate blue ribbon committee and committee on public services and narrated how they fell victim to the racket. “We came to start a missionary trip until that happened. Now our plans are on hold,” Ryan, a preacher, told the committee. Eloisa said that from the United States and China, they flew to the Philippines on Sept. 17. Their flight to Coron, Palawan, however, have been rebooked the following day supposedly due to flight restrictions. She noted that their luggage had been screened when they checked in for their connecting flight. After spending a night in a hotel, Eloisa said they returned to Naia Terminal 4 the following day. “Sa initial screening, that’s when it all started,” she said. Lane said Maria Elma Cena and Marvin Garcia, airport baggage inspectors, instructed him to bring his bag to the scanner several times. “What happened was when his luggage went to the X-ray (machines), all the security personnel were on the machine and they were looking at the screen. Doon na po sinabi sa kanya na may nakita daw po sa bagahe nya. Pero hindi po pinakita yung X-ray sa amin. Hindi din po sinabi kung ano, sabi lang po meron lang nakita,” Eloisa said. While the inspectors while checking Lane’s bag, Eloisa said she approached Cena and asked what they were looking for so they could help find it. “And then sinabi nya, no. You guys have to stand back, and don’t touch the luggage,” she said. READ MORE...

ALSO: Abaya admits lapses in filing cases vs innocent ‘tanim bala’ victims


NOVEMEBR 12 -ABAYA
Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya admitted on Thursday that there were “certain lapses” on the part of the government that resulted to the arrest of some “innocent” individuals, who were detained and charged for alleged possession of ammunition while traveling in Manila’s airports.Abaya said that from the very start, he believed that Gloria Ortinez, an overseas Filipino worker who was detained and charged for allegedly carrying a bullet last October 25, was innocent. If Ortinez was indeed innocent, OFWs advocate and senatorial bet Susan Ople then asked if the government would apologize to the victim, who now risks of losing her job in Hong Kong because of the incident. Ople, who also heads the Blas Ople Police Center, said she and Ortinez will go to Hong Kong this Saturday to talk to the employer and explain the incident. “Wala pa akong naririnig kung may regret man lang po ba; mayroon po bang pabaon man lang na humihingi ng depensa sa isang OFW na halata naman pong inonsente?” the senatorial bet said during the joint hearing of the Senate blue ribbon and public services committees. READ MORE...

ALSO Senate probe: Victims bare NAIA extortion in ‘tanim-bala’ probe


NOVEMBER 13 -Bullet-planting victims (from left) Lane Michael White, his stepmother Eloisa Zuleta and his father, Ryan White, and Gloria Ortinez (lower photo) answer questions during a Senate probe on the scheme yesterday. Inset shows Manila International Airport Authority general manager Jose Angel Honrado. GEREMY PINTOLO
Two supposed victims of the tanim-bala extortion schemes, including an American yesterday narrated how security officials at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) demanded money in exchange for dropping criminal charges for possession of a bullet. Lane Michael White, son of an American preacher, and Gloria Ortinez, an overseas Filipino worker, narrated their ordeals before the Senate Blue Ribbon committee. White, accompanied by his stepmother Eloisa Zuleta, told the senators how airport security officers were demanding as much as P80,000 in exchange for dropping the investigation on the bullet supposedly found in his luggage. Zuleta, who spoke for her 20-year-old stepson, said the officials were initially demanding P50,000 and warned the amount might increase if the case reaches their headquarters. Zuleta recalled they were supposed to board their flight to Coron, Palawan on September 13 at NAIA Terminal 3 but they were questioned by a certain Maria Elma Senia and a certain Police Officer 1 Clarin after the x-ray machine found a bullet in Lane’s luggage. Zuleta said she and her family were traumatized after experiencing the harassment by the personnel of the Office of Transportation Security (OTS) and later from the Philippine National Police-Aviation Security Group. She added their baggage already underwent routine inspection a day before at the same terminal but their flights were canceled and they were asked to come back the next day. The victim, along with his parents – Zuleta and Ryan White – came all the way from the US before taking their domestic flight. Zuleta even recalled Senia as telling her that she should have owned up to the “crime” to avoid further inconvenience for Lane. “Tulungan mo na yung anak mo (help your son). Foreigner yan…magugulo buhay niya (he’s a foreigner, he’ll be in trouble),” Zuleta quoted the security officer as telling her. “I know that’s the easier way out and I am pregnant. I told her we are Christians, we cannot lie just to get an easier way out,” Zuleta told the Senate panel. Lane was subsequently charged after they refused to give in to the demand of P50,000 from the OTS. Another officer supposedly told them that the amount would be higher if they choose to settle the case at the level of the PNP-ASG. Since Lane maintained he did not own the bullet, he was subsequently charged. He stayed six days and five nights at the police detention area. White’s case remains pending at the Pasay City prosecutors office since the OTS personnel hired a private lawyer to represent their case, her stepmother said. They decided to bring the case before the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in a bid to bring charges against security personnel but lamented the investigation has not moved. READ MORE...

ALSO: Honrado on ‘tanim-bala’ menace tells Senators,  ‘I’m not in the loop on filing of cases’
[Honrado said as far as he is concerned, the Philippine National Police followed the due process and it was reported to him. Marcos then asked about the MIAA chief’s reported statement that he has no control over the 22 agencies that are under his jurisdiction, which he confirmed. “If you have no control over the agencies in the airport, what is your job?” asked Marcos. “Your honor, its coordination…” said Honrado.]


NOVEMBER 12 -MIAA General Manager Honrado THE head of the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) was put in a hot seat on Thursday when he admitted during a Senate hearing that he did nothing to look into the filing cases of the people who claimed to have been victimized by the alleged “tanim-bala” scam in Manila’s airports. MIAA General Manager Jose Angel Honrado made this admission in response to a series of questions thrown at him by Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. “What did you do about it?” Marcos asked. “Your honor, I’m not in the loop on the filing of the cases,” Honrado said. “What did you do to look into the case? You did not look into the case,” the senator asked again, this time referring to the case of Gloria Ortinez, an overseas Filipino worker, who earlier narrated to the joint hearing of the Senate blue ribbon and public services committees on the scam. “No, I did not because I’m not in the loop on the filing of the cases…” the MIAA chief said. “It’s sufficient for you to receive a report that there were certain individuals were found to have bullets, allegedly found to have bullets in the bags? And that’s the end of the matter as far as you’re concerned?” Marcos asked. Honrado said as far as he is concerned, the Philippine National Police followed the due process and it was reported to him. Marcos then asked about the MIAA chief’s reported statement that he has no control over the 22 agencies that are under his jurisdiction, which he confirmed. “If you have no control over the agencies in the airport, what is your job?” asked Marcos. “Your honor, its coordination…” said Honrado. “But how can you coordinate if you can’t control?” the senator said, noting that in the military, there is command and control. “You can’t coordinate without command and control,” the senator added. “Your honor, there is none,” Honrado said, pointing out the “delineation on the legal mandates of every organization.” “So you say that you have no responsibility for any kind of problem that comes into the airport? Ano’ng trabaho ng General Manager,” Marcos asked again. Responding to the senator, Honrado said his main job is to ensure the “smooth flow” of airport operations. THE FULL REPORT.


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

NBI looking at sabotage vs admin in ‘tanim-bala’


Naval Special Operations Group patrol boats take position along the ‘no-sail’ restricted zone in Manila Bay, near the venues of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Manila yesterday. EDD GUMBAN

MANILA, NOVEMBER 16, 2015
(PHILSTAR)  By Edu Punay November 14, 2015 - Amid accusations that airport personnel are demanding up to P80,000 and even sex in an extortion racket using the planting of bullets in passenger bags, the government is pursuing suspicions that politics may be playing a role in the “tanim-bala” racket.

A special team of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is looking into this possibility after receiving information that the incidents may be part of a plot to sabotage or destabilize the administration supposedly in relation to next year’s general elections.

Department of Justice (DOJ) spokesman Emmanuel Caparas said the NBI probe is not confined to the alleged operations of a tanim-bala syndicate, but also covers the sabotage or destabilization angle.

“Yes, that is one of the angles being pursued by the NBI,” Caparas confirmed to The STAR yesterday.

He did not give further details so as not to jeopardize the ongoing probe. He also did not confirm if there is proof gathered by investigators to bolster this angle.

An American missionary and an overseas Filipino worker testified at the Senate the other day that they were victims of tanim-bala.

But the NBI is pursuing suspicions that political rivals of the Aquino administration could be behind the incidents supposedly to discredit and elicit public distrust against the administration and its presidential bet, former interior and local governments secretary Manuel Roxas II.

Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya, whose resignation is being demanded by various sectors over problems besetting the airport and other aspects of transportation, has said he does not believe there is a tanim-bala syndicate at the airport.

READ MORE...

Abaya, president of the administration Liberal Party, and airport general manager Jose Angel Honrado have refused to resign over the scandal. Malacañang has also rejected calls for their replacement.

Caparas said the DOJ has tapped prosecutors at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) to attend to bullet possession incidents.

Caparas told a press conference a prosecutor has been assigned at the airport since last week to conduct “instant inquest” assessment that would allow passengers caught with bullets in their baggage to catch their flights.

He said more prosecutors would be deployed at the airport next week upon request of the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA).

“The stationing of the fiscal there is one way for now to be able to shorten the time of going to the fiscal, filing a complaint and determining whether or not a case should be filed at the moment (because) the passenger is not able to leave,” Caparas said.

“We are trying to avoid incidents where passengers are not allowed to take their flights just because of these incidents… It affects the lives of people unnecessarily and unfairly,” he said.

Justice Secretary Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa and Prosecutor General Claro Arellano instructed prosecutors to expedite the conduct of inquest proceedings, weigh the evidence and consider the profile of the respondent, Caparas said.

“The prosecutor can make a call, all points available to him, talk to the passenger, after all that, if the passenger is harmless, (the prosecutor) can make the call using better judgment,” Caparas said.

He explained that if the bullet were found in the luggage or bag of an elderly person who has been traveling to and from the country for 30 years, it would be initially improbable to consider criminal liability.

But if the bullet or implement were found taped or stitched in some secret pockets of a bag or luggage, then it would be another case, Caparas said.

“There are procedures in law, there are legal provisions that allow us to take certain measure to protect the rights of the general public, whether you are a passenger or not, and it also protects the rights of those who are looking after security of our airports,” he added.

Malacañang said the MIAA is implementing the hands off policy in handling baggage and personal belongings of passengers.

“On another matter, the MIAA is now going to implement a ‘last look’ bin that will enable passengers to take a last look, essentially, at their luggage and to dispose off any—should there be any inadvertent insertions, if you may call it that, before they undergo screening,” deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said.


VALTE

Miriam seeks heavier penalties Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago, for her part, proposed an increase in the penalty against persons found guilty of planting bullets as evidence.

Santiago is seeking to amend Republic Act 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act to increase the prison term for persons planting bullets as evidence from the current six to 12 years to a range of 12 to 20 years.

The penalty would be imposed on persons found guilty of inserting, placing or attaching a bullet, a firearm or parts of either, with the intent of incriminating another.

“The government must send a clear message to these airport syndicates that it will not tolerate these criminal activities and will prosecute those who plant evidence with as much zeal as it pursues those who smuggle firearms and ammunition,” Santiago said.

She said that increasing the prison term for the crime would be more effective than the proposals to decriminalize possession of not more than three bullets.

Under the decriminalization proposal, Santiago argued the scam would persist simply by increasing the number of ammunition planted on the victims.

Charged and dismissed This developed as two Taiwan-bound OFWs were detained by security personnel at the NAIA Terminal 1 for alleged possession of bullets.

One of them, Biiden Ballalo, was able to depart for Taiwan yesterday after the Pasay City prosecutor dismissed the case with the help of the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) and Volunteer Against Crime and Corruption (VACC).

The PAO has so far helped 20 alleged bullet-planting victims. Complaints against five of the agency’s clients have been dismissed for lack of intent to possess the bullet and use it for malevolent purposes.

Pasay City prosecutors also dismissed the charges against Gerardo Navarra for illegal possession of ammunition for lack of probable cause.

Navarra, who was supposed to fetch a relative from the airport and insisted that the bullet was not his, was arrested Thursday night at the NAIA after a bullet was found inside his bag.

Pasay City Prosecutor Nolasco Fernandez Jr. said authorities failed to establish the malevolent intent to possess and use the bullet for a criminal purpose.

Two more passengers with separate flights were apprehended for bullets found in their luggage.

The two passengers whose names were not immediately available were brought to the Philippine National Police – Aviation Security Group for questioning.

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), on the other hand, has embarked on a massive information campaign to prevent migrant Filipino workers from falling prey to the supposed bullet-planting scheme.

OWWA chief Rebecca Calzado directed accredited employment agencies to provide pre-departure orientation seminar (PDOS) to advise OFWs against carrying prohibited items at the airport including bullets. With Mayen Jaymalin, Rudy Santos, Marvin Sy, Aurea Calica


INQUIRER

‘Tanim-bala’ victims detail extortion try at Naia in Senate probe By: Maila Ager @MAgerINQ INQUIRER.net 05:12 PM November 12th, 2015


LAGLAG BALA INQUIRY: Lane Michael White (left), 20, tells senators how airport authorities asked him to pay P30,000 in exchange for his freedom for allegedly carrying a bullet inside his bag at theNinoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA). Lane, together with his step-mother Eloisa Zoleta (center), and father Ryan White (right) attended a Senate inquiry into the “laglag bala” incidents at the NAIAThursday, November 12, 2015. (PRIB Photo by Alex NuevaEspaña)

Victims of the alleged “tanim-bala” scam at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) recounted during a Senate investigation on Thursday how airport security personnel tried to extort money from them and made them admit to owning the bullets found in their luggage.

Lane Michael White with his father Ryan and stepmother Eloisa Zoleta faced the joint hearing of the Senate blue ribbon committee and committee on public services and narrated how they fell victim to the racket.

“We came to start a missionary trip until that happened. Now our plans are on hold,” Ryan, a preacher, told the committee.

Eloisa said that from the United States and China, they flew to the Philippines on Sept. 17. Their flight to Coron, Palawan, however, have been rebooked the following day supposedly due to flight restrictions. She noted that their luggage had been screened when they checked in for their connecting flight.

After spending a night in a hotel, Eloisa said they returned to Naia Terminal 4 the following day.

“Sa initial screening, that’s when it all started,” she said.

Lane said Maria Elma Cena and Marvin Garcia, airport baggage inspectors, instructed him to bring his bag to the scanner several times.

“What happened was when his luggage went to the X-ray (machines), all the security personnel were on the machine and they were looking at the screen. Doon na po sinabi sa kanya na may nakita daw po sa bagahe nya. Pero hindi po pinakita yung X-ray sa amin. Hindi din po sinabi kung ano, sabi lang po meron lang nakita,” Eloisa said.

While the inspectors while checking Lane’s bag, Eloisa said she approached Cena and asked what they were looking for so they could help find it.

“And then sinabi nya, no. You guys have to stand back, and don’t touch the luggage,” she said.

READ MORE...

Eloisa said she phoned her brother to report the matter and her brother told her to take a video of what was happening.

She said the supposed bullet was only discovered after several inspections.

After that, Eloisa said they were turned over to a certain SPO2 Rolando Clarin, who asked her to stop taking videos.

Clarin later told her to convince her son to admit to owning the bullet.

“Sabi po sa akin ni SPO2 Clarin, e ayaw pang aminin ng anak mo e. Bakit hindi mo na lang paamin sa anak mo? Sabi ko, huwag po kayong ganyan. Bakit hindi po natin sya tanungin kung kanya po yun o hindi para malaman nyo ang totoo?” she said.

She said she relayed the police officer’s question to Lane.

“‘Lane, the police officer wanted to know if the ammunition is yours,’ and then Lane said, ‘the luggage is mine but the ammunition, the bullet isn’t.’ That what he said,” Eloisa said.

She said another police officer, a certain Junio, came to them and asked them what happened.

After recounting the incident, Eloisa said the police officer told her: “Usually naman pinapalampas namin ang mga nagdadala ng ganyan, sinasabi naming anting-anting pero dito kasi pag inareglo natin yan dito, P30,000, pero ‘pag napasa sa headquarters P80,000.”

Gloria Ortinez, who also fell victim to the scam on Oct. 25, said she was asked to admit to owning a bullet that was found in her luggage while she was on her way to Hong Kong.

Ortinez said the security personnel at the airport were insisting that the red pouch supposedly containing a bullet was hers.

“Dinidiin nila na aminin ko. Bakit ko aaminin e hindi naman galing sa akin?” she said.

“Sabi nila galing daw sa akin yung red pouch, e hindi naman sa akin,” Ortinez added. RC


INQUIRER

Abaya admits lapses in filing cases vs innocent ‘tanim bala’ victims By: Maila Ager @MAgerINQ INQUIRER.net 07:50 PM November 12th, 2015


ABAYA

Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya admitted on Thursday that there were “certain lapses” on the part of the government that resulted to the arrest of some “innocent” individuals, who were detained and charged for alleged possession of ammunition while traveling in Manila’s airports.

Abaya said that from the very start, he believed that Gloria Ortinez, an overseas Filipino worker who was detained and charged for allegedly carrying a bullet last October 25, was innocent.

If Ortinez was indeed innocent, OFWs advocate and senatorial bet Susan Ople then asked if the government would apologize to the victim, who now risks of losing her job in Hong Kong because of the incident.

Ople, who also heads the Blas Ople Police Center, said she and Ortinez will go to Hong Kong this Saturday to talk to the employer and explain the incident.

“Wala pa akong naririnig kung may regret man lang po ba; mayroon po bang pabaon man lang na humihingi ng depensa sa isang OFW na halata naman pong inonsente?” the senatorial bet said during the joint hearing of the Senate blue ribbon and public services committees.

READ MORE...

“Wala man lang po bang magpapabaon ng sorry sa inyo kay Nanay Gloria dahil hindi po namin alam talaga kung may trabaho pa siya o wala sa Hong Kong?” she asked.

“From the very start, noong nagsalita ako, naniniwala ako na walang kasalanan po si Nanay Gloria at ang iba pang mga bisita natin dito,” Abaya said.

But Ople insisted that Ortinez, who she said was “completely” innocent, has to show something that the government made a mistake.

“I do agree, I could write a letter right now. She could bring it with her. I could personally make a call to her (employer), if I could get the number , I’ll call the employer,” Abaya said.

“Obviously, there are certain lapses, may pagkukulang ang ating pamahalaan. Whatever Nanay Gloria would request me to do, I’ll do,” he added.

After the hearing, Abaya approached Ortinez and apologized.

Earlier in the hearing, Abaya promised to come out with a clear policies to look after OFWs “and at the same time also protect our enforcers.” JE


PHILSTAR

Victims bare NAIA extortion in ‘tanim-bala’ probe By Christina Mendez (The Philippine Star) | Updated November 13, 2015 - 12:00am 6 6373 googleplus3 5


Bullet-planting victims (from left) Lane Michael White, his stepmother Eloisa Zuleta and his father, Ryan White, and Gloria Ortinez (lower photo) answer questions during a Senate probe on the scheme yesterday. Inset shows Manila International Airport Authority general manager Jose Angel Honrado. GEREMY PINTOLO

MANILA, Philippines - Two supposed victims of the tanim-bala extortion schemes, including an American yesterday narrated how security officials at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) demanded money in exchange for dropping criminal charges for possession of a bullet.

Lane Michael White, son of an American preacher, and Gloria Ortinez, an overseas Filipino worker, narrated their ordeals before the Senate Blue Ribbon committee.


Gloria Ortinez recalls 'Tanim-bala' experience at NAIA during Senate probe

Zuleta, who spoke for her 20-year-old stepson, said the officials were initially demanding P50,000 and warned the amount might increase if the case reaches their headquarters.

Zuleta recalled they were supposed to board their flight to Coron, Palawan on September 13 at NAIA Terminal 3 but they were questioned by a certain Maria Elma Senia and a certain Police Officer 1 Clarin after the x-ray machine found a bullet in Lane’s luggage.

Zuleta said she and her family were traumatized after experiencing the harassment by the personnel of the Office of Transportation Security (OTS) and later from the Philippine National Police-Aviation Security Group.

She added their baggage already underwent routine inspection a day before at the same terminal but their flights were canceled and they were asked to come back the next day.

The victim, along with his parents – Zuleta and Ryan White – came all the way from the US before taking their domestic flight.

Zuleta even recalled Senia as telling her that she should have owned up to the “crime” to avoid further inconvenience for Lane.

“Tulungan mo na yung anak mo (help your son). Foreigner yan…magugulo buhay niya (he’s a foreigner, he’ll be in trouble),” Zuleta quoted the security officer as telling her.

“I know that’s the easier way out and I am pregnant. I told her we are Christians, we cannot lie just to get an easier way out,” Zuleta told the Senate panel.

Lane was subsequently charged after they refused to give in to the demand of P50,000 from the OTS.

Another officer supposedly told them that the amount would be higher if they choose to settle the case at the level of the PNP-ASG.

Since Lane maintained he did not own the bullet, he was subsequently charged. He stayed six days and five nights at the police detention area.

White’s case remains pending at the Pasay City prosecutors office since the OTS personnel hired a private lawyer to represent their case, her stepmother said.

They decided to bring the case before the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in a bid to bring charges against security personnel but lamented the investigation has not moved.

READ MORE...

Ortinez, for her part, also tagged certain inspectors from the OTS after she was brought to the detention center, where there were insinuations that she merely admitted to carrying the bullet, wrapped in a red pouch, to avoid any more problems.

She identified a certain Ballesteros as among those who talked to her during the investigation of her case.

Ortinez, accompanied by OFW advocate Susan Ople, said she was so nervous about what happened that her blood pressure shot up while under OTS custody.

She recalled she even did not get to sleep when she spent the night at the holding area.

Had her daughter not arrived from Ilocos the next day, Ortinez said she would not have known what to do because she did not want to admit possession of the bullet found in her carry on baggage.

She said she was not given any lawyer but she said she was lucky to get help from Spocky Farolan, a lawyer who helped her at the Prosecutors Office.

Ortinez recalled that she was even singled out for being an Ilocano.


With Sen Marcos and OFW advocate Ople, Overseas Filipino worker Gloria Ortinez (center), victimized by the alleged “tanim-bala scam,” attends Senate probe. MAILA AGER/INQUIRER.net 

“They were asking me where I came from, then I said that I am from Paoay, Ilocos Norte. They remarked ‘Ay, Marcos,” she said referring to the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos and his family.

“Then I decided to speak no more,” she added.

When asked by Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. why the NAIA personnel mentioned his family, Ortinez replied: “Yes sir, which is why I spoke no more, I fear (saying more than that).”

Ortinez was supposed to board a connecting flight to Hong Kong from Laoag when she was prevented from leaving the country last October 25.

Most of those caught with bullets in their luggage were charged but were eventually ordered released by Pasay City prosecutors for lack of probable cause.

Senior Assistant City Prosecutor Willy Chan dismissed the illegal possession of ammunition filed against Ortinez.

The prosecutors stressed that authorities needed to establish the malevolent intent to possess and use the bullet for a criminal purpose. – Edu Punay, Evelyn Macairan, Rudy Santos, Mayen Jaymalin


INQUIRER

Honrado on ‘tanim-bala’ menace: ‘I’m not in the loop on filing of cases’ By: Maila Ager @MAgerINQ INQUIRER.net 06:11 PM November 12th, 2015


MIAA General Manager Honrado THE head of the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) was put in a hot seat on Thursday when he admitted during a Senate hearing that he did nothing to look into the filing cases of the people who claimed to have been victimized by the alleged “tanim-bala” scam in Manila’s airports.

MIAA General Manager Jose Angel Honrado made this admission in response to a series of questions thrown at him by Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

“What did you do about it?” Marcos asked.

“Your honor, I’m not in the loop on the filing of the cases,” Honrado said.

“What did you do to look into the case? You did not look into the case,” the senator asked again, this time referring to the case of Gloria Ortinez, an overseas Filipino worker, who earlier narrated to the joint hearing of the Senate blue ribbon and public services committees on the scam.

“No, I did not because I’m not in the loop on the filing of the cases…” the MIAA chief said.

“It’s sufficient for you to receive a report that there were certain individuals were found to have bullets, allegedly found to have bullets in the bags? And that’s the end of the matter as far as you’re concerned?” Marcos asked.

Honrado said as far as he is concerned, the Philippine National Police followed the due process and it was reported to him.

Marcos then asked about the MIAA chief’s reported statement that he has no control over the 22 agencies that are under his jurisdiction, which he confirmed.


Sen. Marcos: ‘We call our OFWs our modern heroes and this is what they get in return?’ Sen. Marcos has deplored another incident of alleged "tanim bala" (bullet planting) at NAIA involving an OFW bound for Hong Kong. SENATE.GOV.PH

“If you have no control over the agencies in the airport, what is your job?” asked Marcos.

“Your honor, its coordination…” said Honrado.

“But how can you coordinate if you can’t control?” the senator said, noting that in the military, there is command and control.

“You can’t coordinate without command and control,” the senator added.

“Your honor, there is none,” Honrado said, pointing out the “delineation on the legal mandates of every organization.”

“So you say that you have no responsibility for any kind of problem that comes into the airport? Ano’ng trabaho ng General Manager,” Marcos asked again.

Responding to the senator, Honrado said his main job is to ensure the “smooth flow” of airport operations.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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