Gun-toting Fil-Am held at Manila airport
MANILA, Philippines—A Filipino-American waiting for his flight at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) was arrested on Tuesday after a handgun was found in his luggage.
Chief Insp. Filendo Navarro of the Philippine Aviation Security Group said Wilfredo Varilla, 56, was arrested at Naia Terminal 1 around 5:25 a.m. by airport policemen after the gun, a caliber-22 pistol with five live bullets, was discovered inside his green trolley bag.
Varilla was booked for Delta Airlines flight DL-630 bound for the United States via Nagoya, Japan. The plane left Naia Terminal 1 around 6:45 p.m. without him.
Navarro said Varilla was brought to the Pasay City Prosecutor’s Office around 2 p.m. the same day and was charged with illegal possession of firearms.
Varilla, according to investigators, recounted that the firearm was given to him by a friend, a barangay (village) chair in Bulacan. The suspect claimed he did not know how the gun got inside the trolley bag.
Vicente Guerzon, Manila International Aiport Authority assistant general manager for security and emergency services, said the agency would conduct an investigation on the “security breach.”
Guerzon told reporters he was “disappointed” by the apparent lapse which, he said, was “a ‘no-no’ in our security protocol.”
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