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NOY'S CORNER THIS PAST WEEK...
(MINI-READS followed by FULL REPORTS below)

FLASHBACK 4 YEARS AGO: GET EXCLUSIVE ACCESS "INSIDE MALACAÑANG" WITH NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC CHANNEL


FLASGBACK 4 YEARS AGO -President B.S. Aquino III For the first time ever, the National Geographic (NatGeo) Channel will be taking us inside the grandest and most historical residence in the Philippines – the Malacañang Palace. Once dubbed as a “foremost home” by Spanish governor generals. The Americans made it a social hub for the country’s elite while the Japanese transformed it into a garrison. Yet after all these changes, Malacañang Palace still stands proudly by the Pasig River today. One would wonder what is now inside the cordoned-off areas of the palace. On March 18, at 9:00 p.m., catch the premiere of the original documentary Inside Malacañang as National Geographic Channel (NGC) takes you to an exclusive guided tour inside the official residence of the country’s chief executive. This exclusive feature, which took one and a half years to produce, delves into chambers of the palace that were previously off-limits to the media and the public. Inside Malacañang also examines and breaks long-held myths and beliefs about the President’s entourage. Get to know the everyday routines of the Presidential Security. NatGeo follows some of the people closest to President Benignino “Noynoy” Aquino as they risked their lives behind the scene as they try to protect our Commander-in-chief. Get to know the Group commander (Colonel Ramon Dizon), President Benigno S. Aquino III close-in security aide (Senior Police Office 4 Lito Africano), the presidential photographer (Jay Morales), and even the presidential food tester (Jaime Caster Castro). Also, shared his work at Malacanang Palace were Retired Air Force Gen. Jose Angel “Bodet” Honrado and Undersecretary Manolo Quezon III who explained some of the historical background of the Malacañang Palace. NatGeo also show the lighter side of the Philippine President, talking about his favorite part of the Malacañang Palace and his typical work day including the recent Independence Day celebration. READ MORE...

ALSO LOOKING BACK BY RAPPLER.COM: Remember when Noynoy Aquino declared he would run?
[It was on September 9, 2009 when Benigno 'Noynoy' Aquino III decided he would run for president. We look back at that event.]


POSTED SEPTEMBER 16, 2015 -ANNOUNCEMENT. Then Senator Benigno Aquino III announces his candidacy in the 2010 presidential elections. File photo by Ted Aljibe/AFP SEPT 2009 PHOTO

ALSO FLASHBACK: Protesters tell Noynoy Aquino: Emulate your father
[In a rally on the heros 31st death anniversary, progressive groups point out the contrast between father and son: Ninoy fought the dictatorship; Noynoy has dictatorial tendencies]


UPDATED REPORT SEPTEMBER 12, 2015 -Progressive organizations commemorated the 31st death anniversary of former Senator Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr on Thursday, August 21, by pointing out what they considered a glaring contrast between him and his son, President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III. In a rally at the Ninoy Aquino Monument in Quezon City, they pointed out how the martyred senator led struggles against the Marcos dictatorship, while his son has announced his openness to seeking another term in office, and amending the Constitution that prohibits his reelection. "The people are afraid that the extension of his term will lead to Martial Law," said Sanlakas' Tita Flor Santos, who was a political prisoner during the Marcos regime. "Your parents made us proud! Ninoy made us proud to be Filipinos! It is your turn to make your parents proud!" she said at the rally, addressing the President. Nick Elman, leader of Manggagawang Laban sa Korupsyon, said Aquino should instead focus his efforts on addressing the plight of the poor. "The oligarchs of this country have bled us dry! They are the ones profiting from the 99% of the population! We need the president to stand with us and against the oppressors!" Elman said. PERSONAL CALL. 'Make your parents proud!' Tita Flor Santos, a Martial Law political detainee during the protest. Aaron Pedrosa, secretary general of Sanlakas said: “We may talk endlessly of the contributions of Ninoy in the struggle against the dictatorship and his selfless dedication to the ideals of a democratic nation, but, more importantly, we are compelled by a higher political circumstance to launch intensified mass actions for the reason that a looming dictatorship is in the offing.” READ MORE...

ALSO: 'Laglag-bala' probe: Palace looking into bullets as amulets
[Malacañang says the gov't is looking into the possibility that airport passengers are actually carrying bullets in their bags because they consider them as agimat]


NOVEMBER 3 -[Malacañang says the gov't is looking into the possibility that airport passengers are actually carrying bullets in their bags because they consider them as agimat Amid recent spike in the number of cases of airport security personnel allegedly planting bullets in passengers' bag to extort from them, the Philippine president's office is looking into the possibility of bullets being used as amulets by passengers. “Without pre-empting [the investigation], yes, there have been reports of bullets being considered as amulets.... I don’t share that cultural thing of bringing amulets, but I understand a number of people do consider bullets as amulets. So that’s also being looked into,” presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said in a press briefing on Tuesday, November 3. Lacierda earlier said allegations of laglag-bala or bullet-planting scheme must be validated first before the government takes the necessary long-term actions. The angle of plane passengers supposedly carrying bullets because they consider them as anting-anting or agimat (amulet) would fit in the alleged modus of the airport syndicate, however. On Tuesday, the National Bureau of Investigation received the first complaint related to the alleged scheme. The alleged victim, Josie Marie Paz Trias, 34, said that upon the supposed discovery of a bullet in her bag on October 27, a senior airport staff approached her and allegedly said, "Let us just fix this." Trias supposedly told the female officer that she was willing to go to jail because she was innocent. She was then made to sign a logbook, already filled out with a prepared report that said she was carrying the bullet as an amulet. READ MORE...

ALSO: American tourist to use video of 'laglag bala' modus to prove innocence


NOVEMBER 8 -A video taken by the stepmother of a 20-year-old American tourist at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport's Terminal 4 screening area last September 17 shows how the "laglag bala" modus is done.
In a report on News TV Live on Saturday, the camp of 20-year-old Lane Michael White said that they will use the video, taken by his stepmother Eloisa Zoleta and shared by the Lawain Law Office to GMA News, as evidence to against the illegla possession of ammunition filed by the airport authorities against him. The video opened with the shot of airport screening officer Marvin Garcia picking up White's luggage after it passed through the X-ray machine. Garcia's colleague, identified as Maria Elma Cena, then opened the zipper of White's luggage. The two inspectors, who rummaged through the bag with their bare hands, appeared to be looking for a particular object. After transferring the contents of White's luggage into the airport's blue plastic trays, the airport screening personnel put the bag through the X-ray machine once again. After passing through the X-ray machine for the second time, the airport screeners summoned Zoleta and showed her the bullet allegedly found in White's luggage. Zoleta and White were then brought to the office of the Philippine National Police's Aviation Security Group (AvSec), where the 20-year-old American tourist was allegedly coaxed by a police officer to admit that the bullet was his. When White denied the allegation, the police officer allegedly threatened to hold him in the airport. This was supposedly followed by an attempt to extort P30,000 from him in exchange for the non-filing of charges. READ MORE...

ALSO By Alan Robles Q and A: Understanding the airport bullet scam


NOVEMBER 6 -Noting the keen public interest in the bullet-planting controversy, we have decided to exploit it by putting together this package of more or less dubious questions and answers.
1. I've heard that when I check-in at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, there's a chance somebody will set me up by planting a bullet in my bag and then accost me and demand a bribe so I won't be arrested. The good news is that it doesn't happen to everyone. There are exemptions. 2. Thank goodness. Who are exempted? Congressmen, cabinet members, high-ranking government officials, rich people and powerful businessmen. 3. But I'm just an ordinary citizen traveler! What's this? A bullet in your bag? Come this way please. 4. You mean to tell me, on top of the dilapidated facilities, abusive, corrupt and thieving personnel, overpriced shops, taxi and car rental syndicates, blatant favoritism where VIPs don't need to go through lines -- harried travelers now using the airport face being shaken down by this scam? Consider it an added value service of the airport. CONTINUE READING...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Get Exclusive Access “Inside Malacañang” With National Geographic Channel

MANILA, NOVEMBER 9, 2015 (ORANGE MAGAZINE ONLINE) FLASHBACK, 4 YEARS AGO, by Jeman Villanueva - For the first time ever, the National Geographic (NatGeo) Channel will be taking us inside the grandest and most historical residence in the Philippines – the Malacañang Palace.

Once dubbed as a “foremost home” by Spanish governor generals. The Americans made it a social hub for the country’s elite while the Japanese transformed it into a garrison.

Yet after all these changes, Malacañang Palace still stands proudly by the Pasig River today. One would wonder what is now inside the cordoned-off areas of the palace.



On March 18, at 9:00 p.m., catch the premiere of the original documentary Inside Malacañang as National Geographic Channel (NGC) takes you to an exclusive guided tour inside the official residence of the country’s chief executive.

This exclusive feature, which took one and a half years to produce, delves into chambers of the palace that were previously off-limits to the media and the public.

Inside Malacañang also examines and breaks long-held myths and beliefs about the President’s entourage. Get to know the everyday routines of the Presidential Security. NatGeo follows some of the people closest to President Benignino “Noynoy” Aquino as they risked their lives behind the scene as they try to protect our Commander-in-chief.


Gen. Jose Angel “Bodet” Honrado


Colonel Ramon Dizon


Senior Police Office 4 Lito Africano


Presidential food tester Jaime Caster Castro


Presidential photographer Jay Morales


Undersecretary Manolo Quezon III

Get to know the Group commander (Colonel Ramon Dizon), President Benigno S. Aquino III close-in security aide (Senior Police Office 4 Lito Africano), the presidential photographer (Jay Morales), and even the presidential food tester (Jaime Caster Castro). Also, shared his work at Malacanang Palace were Retired Air Force Gen. Jose Angel “Bodet” Honrado and Undersecretary Manolo Quezon III who explained some of the historical background of the Malacañang Palace.

NatGeo also show the lighter side of the Philippine President, talking about his favorite part of the Malacañang Palace and his typical work day including the recent Independence Day celebration.

READ MORE...

Last February 28, Orange Magazine TV is one of the selected guest to the exclusive screening of Inside Malacañang which was held at the Rizal Hall of the Malacañang Palace. The event was made even special with the presence of no other than His Excellency President Noynoy Aquino himself as guest of honor.


ABOUT ORANGE MAGTV: Orange Magazine, a Philippine-based online magazine, was formally launched in July 2010. It is the brainchild of Jessie Bunyi Villanueva a.k.a. JEMAN, an avid magazine collector who previously worked as tabloid correspondent and as an Events, Media and Promotions Coordinator for a couple of print magazine publications. http://orangemagazine.ph/

It was indeed a privilege for me and to the other guests as it was not everyday that you’ll get to meet, and in our case, have the opportunity to chat and have our pictures taken with the President of the Philippines. Special thanks to Mr. Sean Stuart General of AGATEP for the invitation.

In his speech, President Noynoy Aquino said that, like his mother, former President Corazon Aquino, he chose not to live at the Malacañang Palace. He mentioned that living in Malacanang Palace will make you feel like royalty, and that’s exactly what co-blogger Rod Magaru and I felt inside Malacañang.

“NGC has been aiming to feature more relevant programs to the Filipino audience. With Inside Malacañang we hope more Filipinos would appreciate the office of the President and the people who help run it everyday,” said Jude Turcuato, Fox International Channels vice president and territory head for Philippines.

“Through this documentary that was proudly made by a Filipino production team, Marnie Manicad Productions International, in the hallmark standards of the NGC, we also wanted to show the world-class talent of Filipinos in producing long-form documentaries.”

The Inside Malacañang production team is composed of director, producer and head writer Marnie Manicad, writer Cris Lim and narrator Joonee Gamboa.

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RELATED NEWS REPORT 4 YEARS AGO FROM RAPPLER.COM

NatGeo peeks into PNoy's Palace 'Inside Malacañang' is shown on the NatGeo channel David Yu Santos Published 3:21 PM, March 19, 2012 Updated 3:50 PM, March 19, 2012 7 39 Reddit Email 46

MANILA, Philippines – The National Geographic Channel (NatGeo) promised a “guided-tour” of the most-coveted office in the Philippines: Malacañang. It delivered, yes, but ended up disappointing some viewers.

On Sunday (March 18) evening, after much publicity and anticipation, Inside Malacañang, produced by Filipina writer and director Marnie Manicad, premiered on NatGeo.

The documentary opened with a typical morning in Malacañang: from the President's “clothes being pressed” to his car being "meticulously checked.” The presidential palace, after all, is no ordinary household. NatGeo interviewed President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, who spoke about what living in the Palace meant to presidents.

Undersecretary Manuel "Manolo" Quezon, presidential grandson, historian and one of the administration's communications officials, provided insights on the 2-century-old presidential residence, where “decisions on the welfare of more than 90 million Filipinos are made.”

Inside Malacañang became a hot trending topic on Twitter when it started airing at 9 pm Sunday, climbing from the No 9 spot to No 1 by the end of the show.

Twitter followers were all praises for the documentary's skillful camerawork (led by director of photography Rain Yamson and his team of cameramen: Dindo David, John Javelona and Benjo Borja); catchy musical scoring (by Nani Naguit); and narration by the “very familiar” voice of theater and film, actor Jonee Gamboa.

But others said it fell short of their expectations.

The documentary showed rare videoclips, including a footage taken minutes after the 1987 ambush on Noynoy Aquino and his security aides during one of the coup attempts against his mother. There's also a footage of Mrs Aquino taking the presidential ferry by the Pasig River to be evacuated.

But on Twitter, Quezon disputed this, describing the documentary's description of this particular video clip as an "error." He tweeted: "(Then) Pres (Cory) Aquino went to the park to see casualties. Not to be evacuated."

Inside Malacañang, which took 2 years to make, featured 4 of the President's most trusted aides: Presidential Security Group (PSG) commander Col Ramon Mateo Dizon, close-in security aide Senior Police Officer 4 Lito Africano, photographer Jay Morales and personal food tester Senior Police Officer 3 Jaime Castro.

Among the 4, Castro perhaps drew most of the viewers' curiosity since it's not very often that the public gets to know who tastes the food of presidents.


FOOD TESTER. SPO3 Jaime Castro uses a flashlight to inspect the food to be served to President Noynoy Aquino for discoloration that may cause poisoning or contamination. (Videograb from National Geographic Channel)

“You cannot assassinate the President only by means of bullets, but also by means of food,” Castro, who also served as the food tester of President Cory Aquino more than 2 decades ago, said in the interview.

Fondly called “Caster,” he thoroughly checks the food of the President and conducts background investigation on the cooks and waiters who prepare presidential meals. The documentary featured Castro with his flashlight, which he uses to spot food discoloration.

After the Palace kitchen, Inside Malacañang showed the President's elite security troops, who were caught on camera training for an assault in case the President is abducted.

Dizon admitted in the interview that the President's decision to prohibit the use of “wang-wang,” or siren, while traveling is something that his security team, given the choice, would rather not heed.

Because of Aquino's policy against the use of "wang-wang," Dizon said that each time the convoy stops at traffic lights, PSG members have to disembark from their vehicles to secure the parameters of the presidential car.

A footage of Dizon inspecting the presidential convoy showed some "anti-tank weapons" in the trunk of one of the vehicles.


Anti-tank firearms are shown being kept inside one of the car in the presidential convoy. (Videograb from National Geographic Channel)

Courting controversy?

The President's bodyguard, SPO4 Africano, is said to be very close to Aquino. Since his boss is also a shooter, Africano was taught the President's "trademark shot" and carries a 45-caliber pistol, which Mr Aquino also keeps, according to the documentary. Inside Malacañang also featured Aquino's in-house photographer, Jay Morales, the man with the “smiley disposition.”

When the hour-long program ended, Twitter was abuzz with mixed reactions. While quite a number said that they were impressed, several others said it fell short of their expectations.

Twitter users Cheyenne Villarais (@polziieee), Tonix Alejo III (@tonixthethird) and Yna Gorospe (@YnahGorospe) were not happy about it.

Writer and director Manny Castaneda (@mannycastaneda) “saw nothing interesting in the docu,” while netizens Clarence Sario (@PinkJadedKnight) and Kleina Guillen (@iannekleina) said they expected the documentary to feature the Palace's collections and “chamber of secrets.”

Inside Malacañang was followed by another documentary on NatGeo, Inside the Obama White House,” which chronicled President Barack Obama's presidential activities through the eyes and lens of his photographer, Pete Souza.

This is not the first time that an extensive documentary on Malacañang was produced for TV.

In June 2010, Probe Productions Inc produced a 2-part series for ABS-CBN on the presidential palace entitled “Road to Malacañang,” to commemorate the inaugural of the country's 15th President, Noynoy Aquino. - Rappler.com


RAPPLER.COM
UPDATED REPORT SEPTEMBER 12, 2015

Remember when Noynoy Aquino declared he would run?  Reynaldo Santos Jr @reysantosjr Published 6:18 PM, September 09, 2015 Updated 9:13 AM, September 12, 2015 1K 25 Reddit Email 1K

It was on September 9, 2009 when Benigno 'Noynoy' Aquino III decided he would run for president. We look back at that event.


ANNOUNCEMENT. Then Senator Benigno Aquino III announces his candidacy in the 2010 presidential elections. File photo by Ted Aljibe/AFP

MANILA, Philippines – President Benigno Aquino III's 6-year term in Malacañang is nearing its end.

Aquino's presidency officially began in 2010 after he won the May presidential elections that year. However, it was on this day in 2009 when his journey to Malacañang actually began.

Aquino announced on September 9 that he had decided to run for president. It was a decision encouraged by a public clamor for him to seek the presidency after the death of his mother, former president Corazon Aquino, in August 2009.

Rappler looks back at that time when Aquino announced his presidential candidacy for the 2010 elections:

1. Why announce his candidacy on September 9? This day coincides with the 40th day since the death of Cory Aquino. It was also supposed to be the day when Aquino's family planned to reveal to the public their decision. Most Filipinos consider the 40th day after a person's death as the end of a grieving period.

2. The announcement was made at the Kalayaan Hall of Club Filipino in Greenhills, San Juan City – the same venue where Cory Aquino was sworn in as president at the culmination of the historic 1986 EDSA Revolution.

3. Club Filipino has also witnessed events that eventually led to Aquino's declaration. On September 1 (Tuesday), then senator Mar Roxas – already the standard bearer of the Liberal Party (LP) at the time – declared in the same venue his withdrawal from the 2010 presidential elections to give way to Aquino.

4. Again in Club Filipino, Aquino announced in a press conference on September 2 (a Wednesday) that he would go on a spiritual retreat at the Carmelite Monastery in Zamboanga City to help him decide.

5. While yellow became the standard color theme of Aquino's candidacy, he didn't wear a yellow outfit that day. Since it was the the 40th day of their mother's death, Aquino, his sisters – Ballsy, Pinky, Viel, and Kris – and their family all wore black in the event.

READ MORE...


WITH FAMILY. The senator and his family, wear black during the announcement in Club Filipino. File photo by Ted Aljibe/AFP

6. Aquino was also accompanied by his then girlfriend, Valenzuela City councilor Shalani Soledad, who was a reelectionist in the 2010 elections. The two eventually broke up a few months after Aquino became president. Soledad eventually married Pasig City Representative Roman Romulo in January 2012.

7. A Pep.ph report said Aquino delivered an 11-minute speech, which was accompanied by 11 rounds of applause from around 200 people inside Club Filipino.

8. What inspired him to finally run for president? He enumerated in his speech several encounters with various people who made him pursue his candidacy. But he claimed it was a conversation between his friend and a Customs employee that really pushed him to run:

"Tinanong po yung kasamahan natin, 'Tatakbo na ba si Noynoy?' Ang sagot po nung tumutulak sa 'king tumakbo, 'Tatakbo na nga!' Kaya sagot po nung taga-Customs sa kanya, 'Salamat.' Tinanong, 'Bakit ka nagpapasalamat?' 'Kasi ho, boss, puwede na ho kaming mangarap. Puwede na pong muling mangarap.'"

(A friend of mine was asked: 'Is Noynoy going to run?' He, who was pushing me to run, answered, "He will!' The person from Customs expressed gratitude, and so my friend asked, 'What are you thankful for?' 'Because now, we can finally dream. We can now dream again.)

9. Prior to Aquino's announcement, fund-raising campaigns were initiated by his supporters to encourage him to run. This became evident during the announcement when a can labeled "Piso para kay Noynoy (A peso for Noynoy) was passed around the venue to continue soliciting funds for his campaign.


DONATION. Aquino speaks after receiving donations from supporters in a symbolic gesture to jumpstart his 2010 presidential candidacy. File photo by Ted Aljibe/AFP

10. Also present during the announcement were other LP members like then senator Francis Pangilinan, former senator Franklin Drilon, Quezon Representative Erin Tañada III, former Batanes representative Florencio “Butch” Abad and Nereus Acosta. It was also attended by non-politicians like singer-composer Jim Paredes and Black and White Movement's Leah Navarro. – Rappler.com


RAPPLER.COM
FLASHBACK AUGUST 21, 2014

Protesters tell Noynoy Aquino: Emulate your father
[In a rally on the heros 31st death anniversary, progressive groups point out the contrast between father and son: Ninoy fought the dictatorship; Noynoy has dictatorial tendencies]  Mitch Menez Published 7:26 PM, August 21, 2014 Updated 8:02 PM, August 21, 2014 11 937


DON'T BE A DICTATOR.' A protestor tells Pres. Aquino to emulate his father. All photos by Little Wing Luna

MANILA, Philippines – Progressive organizations commemorated the 31st death anniversary of former Senator Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr on Thursday, August 21, by pointing out what they considered a glaring contrast between him and his son, President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III.

In a rally at the Ninoy Aquino Monument in Quezon City, they pointed out how the martyred senator led struggles against the Marcos dictatorship, while his son has announced his openness to seeking another term in office, and amending the Constitution that prohibits his reelection.

"The people are afraid that the extension of his term will lead to Martial Law," said Sanlakas' Tita Flor Santos, who was a political prisoner during the Marcos regime.

"Your parents made us proud! Ninoy made us proud to be Filipinos! It is your turn to make your parents proud!" she said at the rally, addressing the President.

Nick Elman, leader of Manggagawang Laban sa Korupsyon, said Aquino should instead focus his efforts on addressing the plight of the poor.

"The oligarchs of this country have bled us dry! They are the ones profiting from the 99% of the population! We need the president to stand with us and against the oppressors!" Elman said.

Aaron Pedrosa, secretary general of Sanlakas said: “We may talk endlessly of the contributions of Ninoy in the struggle against the dictatorship and his selfless dedication to the ideals of a democratic nation, but, more importantly, we are compelled by a higher political circumstance to launch intensified mass actions for the reason that a looming dictatorship is in the offing.”

READ MORE...

Instead, he said, Aquino is turning out to have dictatorial tendencies, starting with his budget management principles. “Noynoy’s recent pronouncements may not have came as a surprise since all the tell-tale signs were apparent since he commenced in August 2010 the zero-based budgeting approach, the precursor to his controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program and willingly turned himself into a fiscal dictator.”


PERSONAL CALL. 'Make your parents proud!' Tita Flor Santos, a Martial Law political detainee during the protest.

For his part, Gie Relova of the socialist group Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino said that, “We, the ordinary wage-earners, loyal taxpayers will suffer the heaviest brunt if Noynoy succeeds in amending the Constitution.

FROM ZERO-BASED BUDGETING TO FISCAL DICTATOR OF CONTROVERSAL DAP


PERCURSOR. From Zero-based Budgeting approach in 2010 to controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program Aquino made himself a fiscal dictator.

“Economically, our wages will continue to deteriorate, the government’s tactic is to depress wages to sub-human standards in order to attract investors. Truth be said, the ASEAN nations shall not compete in terms of superior products and services but shall compete only in lowering labor costs to get the nod of exploitative multinationals,” the labor leader said.

After the program, the groups marched to the Aquino residence on Times Street, also in Quezon City, hoping the President would be at his parents house on the 31st anniversary of his father's death and hear their calls to continue his father's fight for the people.

The President wasn't there.


PRELUDE. The march to the Aquino residence in Times St. was a build up to the mass mobilizations on Aug. 25, the first anniversary of the Million People March, the protesters said.
– Rappler.com


RAPPLER.COM
THE NEWEST AQUINO GOVT SCAM - REPORTED NOVEMBER 3, 2015

'Laglag-bala' probe: Palace looking into bullets as amulets Camille Elemia @CamilleElemia Published 8:55 PM, November 03, 2015 Updated 9:13 PM, November 03, 2015 22 10K 80 Reddit Email 10K


[Malacañang says the gov't is looking into the possibility that airport passengers are actually carrying bullets in their bags because they consider them as agimat

MANILA, Philippines – Amid recent spike in the number of cases of airport security personnel allegedly planting bullets in passengers' bag to extort from them, the Philippine president's office is looking into the possibility of bullets being used as amulets by passengers.

“Without pre-empting [the investigation], yes, there have been reports of bullets being considered as amulets.... I don’t share that cultural thing of bringing amulets, but I understand a number of people do consider bullets as amulets. So that’s also being looked into,” presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said in a press briefing on Tuesday, November 3.

Lacierda earlier said allegations of laglag-bala or bullet-planting scheme must be validated first before the government takes the necessary long-term actions.


AMULETS. Malacañang says one angle being considered in the 'laglag-bala' investigation is the possibility of bullets being used as amulets or 'anting-anting'/'agimat' by passengers.

The angle of plane passengers supposedly carrying bullets because they consider them as anting-anting or agimat (amulet) would fit in the alleged modus of the airport syndicate, however.

On Tuesday, the National Bureau of Investigation received the first complaint related to the alleged scheme. The alleged victim, Josie Marie Paz Trias, 34, said that upon the supposed discovery of a bullet in her bag on October 27, a senior airport staff approached her and allegedly said, "Let us just fix this."

Trias supposedly told the female officer that she was willing to go to jail because she was innocent. She was then made to sign a logbook, already filled out with a prepared report that said she was carrying the bullet as an amulet.

READ MORE...

Airport authorities cite 2 laws in the arrest of persons found to be carrying bullets - Republic Acts 10591 and 8294, which both penalize any unlawful possession, manufacture, or acquisition of firearms, ammunition, explosives, or any instruments used for manufacturing such.

While Lacierda earlier denied Malacañang was being soft on the issue, he repeatedly cited the case of an arrested Japanese tourist, who eventually admitted he accidentally brought the bullet from the shooting range to the airport.

Palace Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma also said last week that the issue, already receiving both local and international attention, should be put in context – that only few are supposedly victimized compared to the thousands who pass through the airport every day.

Government sentiment?

The Aviation Security Group (AvSecGroup) first mentioned the possibility of bullets being brought as amulets at a press briefing on Monday.

AvSecGroup spokesman Superintendent Jeanne Panisan pointed to the possibility of passengers simply not knowing bullets were in their bags or the Filipino belief in agimat.

She did admit, however, that cases have spiked recently, not because of the alleged scheme but primarily because of more well-trained and efficient screeners.

In 2013, only 21 cases were recorded. It dropped in 2014, when only 12 cases were recorded but spiked in 2015 – 30 cases have been recorded from January to early November. Rappler.com

[PHNO THANKS RAPPLER.COM FOR THIS PAGE]


GMA NEWS ONLINE

American tourist to use video of 'laglag bala' modus to prove innocence November 8, 2015 11:31am Tags: laglagbala

A video taken by the stepmother of a 20-year-old American tourist at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport's Terminal 4 screening area last September 17 shows how the "laglag bala" modus is done.

In a report on News TV Live on Saturday, the camp of 20-year-old Lane Michael White said that they will use the video, taken by his stepmother Eloisa Zoleta and shared by the Lawain Law Office to GMA News, as evidence to against the illegla possession of ammunition filed by the airport authorities against him.

The video opened with the shot of airport screening officer Marvin Garcia picking up White's luggage after it passed through the X-ray machine.

Garcia's colleague, identified as Maria Elma Cena, then opened the zipper of White's luggage. The two inspectors, who rummaged through the bag with their bare hands, appeared to be looking for a particular object.

After transferring the contents of White's luggage into the airport's blue plastic trays, the airport screening personnel put the bag through the X-ray machine once again.

After passing through the X-ray machine for the second time, the airport screeners summoned Zoleta and showed her the bullet allegedly found in White's luggage.

Zoleta and White were then brought to the office of the Philippine National Police's Aviation Security Group (AvSec), where the 20-year-old American tourist was allegedly coaxed by a police officer to admit that the bullet was his.

When White denied the allegation, the police officer allegedly threatened to hold him in the airport. This was supposedly followed by an attempt to extort P30,000 from him in exchange for the non-filing of charges.

READ MORE...

White's camp said they will use the video as evidence in their motion for determination of probable cause so that the charge filed against him would be dropped.

GMA News is trying to contact AvSec and the Office of Transportation Security (OTS), as well as screening officers Garcia and Cena for comment.

The OTS is the DOTC's agency that oversees luggage screeners at the country's airports.

On Friday, OTS personnel wore pink ribbons to show their "love" for passengers at the aiport.

In recent weeks, a growing number of travelers have been arrested in NAIA and other local airports for having bullets in their luggage. Some of them claimed they were victimized by the supposed “Laglag Bala” syndicate operating in the airport.

President Benigno Aquino III has ordered Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya to investigate the incidents.

Other concerned government agencies, meanwhile, have been tasked to "watch the watchers," referring to the airport screeners. —Xianne Arcangel/ALG, GMA News


ABS-CBN OPINION

Q and A: Understanding the airport bullet scam Hot Manila - By Alan Robles Posted at 11/06/2015 4:52 PM

Noting the keen public interest in the bullet-planting controversy, we have decided to exploit it by putting together this package of more or less dubious questions and answers.

1. I've heard that when I check-in at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, there's a chance somebody will set me up by planting a bullet in my bag and then accost me and demand a bribe so I won't be arrested.

The good news is that it doesn't happen to everyone. There are exemptions.

2. Thank goodness. Who are exempted?

Congressmen, cabinet members, high-ranking government officials, rich people and powerful businessmen.

3. But I'm just an ordinary citizen traveler!

What's this? A bullet in your bag? Come this way please.

4. You mean to tell me, on top of the dilapidated facilities, abusive, corrupt and thieving personnel, overpriced shops, taxi and car rental syndicates, blatant favoritism where VIPs don't need to go through lines -- harried travelers now using the airport face being shaken down by this scam?

Consider it an added value service of the airport.

CONTINUE READING...

5. What is government doing about this problem?

Officials are even now keenly staring at the wall, waiting for the problem to go away.

6. I'm planning to bring a loaded assault rifle magazine, a banana clip with 30 rounds of 7.67 mm ammunition. Will this pose any problems?

Definitely. Passengers are not allowed to bring their own bullets as airport personnel are supposed to provide these themselves.

7. What about howitzer shells?

Our staff are hard at work trying to figure out how to sneak this into your bag. The basic problem is an artillery shell is hard to conceal in the palm of the hand.

8. My infantry platoon needs a rapid reload option. I'm thinking of marching them in and out of the airport until their ammo pouches are full. Is this possible?

Avail of our discounted group rates. Do talk to the nearest suspicious-looking guard.

9. Help! Airport authorities say they have found a bullet in my bag and I really suspect they're trying to extort me.

What makes you say that?

10. They're here in my bedroom at my house. I haven't even finished packing my luggage yet!

Won't you at least give some credit to the extra-zeal of our hardworking airport officials?

11. I want to exploit this story to discredit the government and I have a bucketful of ammunition here I'd like to scatter all over the airport. Where should I go?

Please fall in line and expect a long wait. The queue of people trying to discredit this government is very long.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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