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Binay, Poe urge swift action on ‘tanim-bala’ scam

Vice President Jejomar Binay and Senator Grace Poe yesterday called for swift government action on the “tanim-bala’ controversy that has been hounding the country’s premier airports.

Binay urged President Aquino to fire all members of the Office for Transportation Security (OTS) while calling for a thorough review of Executive Order 311 creating OTS.

Poe, on the other hand, urged Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) General Manager Jose Angel Honrado to put a stop to the scam within a week or step down.

“Trabaho ng gobyerno na maglingkod nang maayos sa ating mga mamamayan, lalo na ang ating mga Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) na nag-aambag sa ating ekonomiya,”said Binay.

“Nagtatrabaho sila sa ibang bansa para maiahon sa kahirapan ang kanilang pamilya, pero ang nangyayari pinapahirapan sila pagdating sa kanilang sariling bansa.”

Binay said the public needs to know the criteria used by OTS in hiring personnel and whether they are qualified and competent to handle airport security matters.

“The PNP follows a selection process and sets fixed requirements for hiring policemen. The OTS under the DOTC, however, is a big question mark.

“Do they have security experts in their organization? What kind of training do they receive and how do they select their personnel?” he asked.

Binay said under his presidency, he will immediately implement a thorough review of mandates, functions and performance of all government agencies, especially those created through executive orders.

Poe, chair of the Senate committee on public order, noted that the number of cases where passengers are being detained for allegedly concealing bullets in their bags have grown exponentially as if there’s a deliberate plan to victimize poor, unsuspecting passengers for extortion.

“This is unacceptable, and Mr. Honrado should be able to stop this within a week,” Poe said in a statement.

Poe has joined other lawmakers in filing a resolution asking for a Senate probe into the possible abuses of airport security personnel.

In filing Senate Resolution No. 1636, the senator urged her colleagues to look into possible abuses committed by NAIA security personnel and failure of airport officials to stop these. Two other resolutions have been filed with the Senate to probe the alleged extortion racket. (HANNAH TORREGOZA, ELLSON QUISMORIO)