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Duterte says syndicate behind ‘tanim-bala’ scam

Mayor Rody Duterte

Mayor Rody Duterte

Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte believes that a syndicate is behind the “tanim-bala” (bullet planting) incidents in the country’s airports.

“Look. I’m doubtful on this. It has been going on for the past two to three years. Many were caught but were immediately settled. I no longer believe on this,” Duterte said.

The syndicate, he added, starts at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila especially at the cargo hold where only the employees of airline companies are allowed.

These employees at the NAIA and airline companies are “in cahoots with the police,” Duterte pointed out.

To the police, Duterte warned: “I just hope nga wala moy apil diha (I just hope you’re not part of it). I am known to protect policemen who are into trouble for performing their duties. I provide for their needs, not only the police in Davao, but also those in Manila.”

“You just pray nga dili na tinuod (Pray it’s not true). It’s incredible. Innocent people caught with .22 or 9mm bullets? These people do not even own guns. They just travel to go home from abroad, or for vacation or to attend meetings. You better stop it but I know that the PNP is conducting an investigation on this matter and I hope that it will really exonerate you.”

Duterte added that he would kill members of the syndicate if proven that they have victimized innocent civilians in Davao City.

“Kung dinhi na sa Davao patyon ta gyud mo. Kung ma presidente ko hurot mong tanan (If it’s here in Davao then I’ll kill you. If I’d become a president then you’ll be finished off). I will order your execution within 24 hours.”

Meanwhile, a 65-year-old woman was prevented from leaving the country to watch her grandson play football in Singapore after a bullet was found concealed in her handbag at Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1 yesterday.

The Philippine National Police-Aviation Security Group said that personnel from the Office of Transportation Security discovered the 9mm bullet safely sewn inside the side pocket of Nimfa Fontamillas’ handbag after it passed through the X-ray scanner at 5:30 a.m. (Alexander D. Lopez and Ariel Fernandez)