Migrant group calls for ‘full-blown’ probe on ‘tanim-bala’ | Global News

Migrant group calls for ‘full-blown’ probe on ‘tanim-bala’

Group tells Aquino: Don't let father's namesake airport be 'world's most notorious'
By: - Reporter / @NCorralesINQ
/ 11:38 AM November 05, 2015

A migrant group has called on President Benigno Aquino III to conduct a “full-blown investigation” on the series of alleged bullet-planting incidents at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia), which had victimized overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and foreign travelers.

In a statement on Thursday, Formal Labor and Migrant Workers Sectoral Council of the National Anti-Poverty Commission said OFWs are now “increasingly worried” over the series of “tanim-bala” cases among airline passengers, which allegedly involves extortion activities.

“With a series of unfortunate events, migrant workers are having second thoughts on their plans to return home for a much needed break especially this Christmas season,” said Edwin Bustillos, sectoral representative of the migrant group.


READ: Naia syndicate confirmed | Traveler tells how ‘bala’ works


Bustillos said it is “appalling and disappointing” how the Malacañang has downplayed the issue, saying that the incidents were “isolated and [were] nothing to be worried about.”

“There is no such thing as [an] isolated incident when an innocent person was unjustly charged, detained and ridiculed in front of the people,” he said.

The migrant leader said the “laglag-bala scam” at Naia is nothing new and has been going on for years.

READ: ‘Tanim-bala’ scam first reported in 2012 in travel website

“No one has bothered to come forward to publicly spill about it because it would be inconvenient on their part especially [considering] the prevailing justice system we have in this country, until now,” Bustillos said.

He said OFWs have been the “milking cows” of syndicates at Naia for decades.


“The President owes them a tough measure in order to protect them against these mafia-type syndicates operating in the airports,” he said.

“It is enough that Naia has been called world’s worst airport once. This time, do not allow the airport, bearing your father’s name, to be tagged as world’s notorious airport due to thievery and extortion,” he added.

He said the President should “swiftly act” and end the illegal activities in our airports.

He said Malacañang should take the lead in investigating agencies and government officials involved in the “bullet-planting scheme.”

READ: Abaya: Perpetrators could face life imprisonment for ‘tanim-bala’ | Palace: Gov’t resolved to fix ‘tanim-bala’ incidents

“Prosecute them with the full extent of the law and he must show to his people and to the international community, with conviction, that he does not condone this shameful act,” he said.

He said Naia “should reflect our national dignity and accorded with utmost respect and integrity,”

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“We strongly state, therefore, get rid of these pests roaming around in this hallow institution,” he said. CDG

TAGS: Benigno Aquino III, Foreigners, investigation, NAIA, Ninoy Aquino International Airport, OFW, overseas Filipino worker, tanim bala, travelers

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