Amid increase in the number of victims of ‘tanim bala’ (bullet planting) modus operandi at the Ninoy Aquino International Airports (NAIA), the Filipino migrant rights group Migrante-Middle East (M-ME) today called on the management of the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) to secure the safety of its customers, mostly OFWs and local and foreign travelers.

“This is quite alarming!” said John Leonard Monterona, the Riyadh-based M-ME regional coordinator, reacting on the news report involving a Filipina domestic worker who was supposed to fly back to Hong Kong but was apprehended by the staff of the Office of Transportation Security (OTS) in NAIA Terminal 2.

Gloria Ortinez, 56, appeared confused who can’t figure out how the carbine bullet went in her bag. She pleaded innocent and manifested that she was a victim of ‘tanim bala’ modus operandi, according to news reports.

Per news reports, Ortinez arrived at NAIA Terminal 4 at 4:30 p.m. from the Laoag City International Airport and was then transferred to NAIA Terminal 2 for her 7 p.m. flight to Hong Kong. When her hand carry bag went through the X-ray machine, the carbine bullet has been found.

On October 25, similar incident has been reported involving a Japanese national bound for Tokyo.

Monterona said it is prudent on the part of the MIAA management headed by its general manager Jose Angel A. Honrado to step up its policing function in all NAIA airports amid reports on ‘tanim bala’ modus victimizing OFWs and foreign travelers.

“Ensure costumer security is one of MIAA’s services and in fact it is clearly stated in its Mission statement,” Monterona added.

He added that next month and December, there will be many OFWs who will be coming home to spend their vacation, and will leave the country until January to return to their respective country of job destination.

“Proper and heightened security measures should be put in place to secure our OFWs, the local and foreign travelers. Foremost to MIAA job is to put a stop on ‘tanim bala’ modus operandi by catching those who are behind its illegal operations,” Monterona said.

“The MIAA should not just ‘be good’ collecting terminal fees; it must also be tough in securing the safety of its customers -the OFWs, local travelers and foreigners, too,” Monterona said.

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