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Officials face raps over ‘tanim-bala’

The “tanim-bala’’ (planted bullet in luggage) menace in the country’s airport has earned the fury and ire of cause-oriented groups and civic organizations prompting Senator Alan Peter Cayetano to file charges against government officials and other concerned parties before the Office of the Ombudsman.

In a press forum in Quezon City, Cayetano said that no thorough, proactive and preventive measures were undertaken done by airport officials and other concerned parties when the “tanim-bala’’ modus was unearthed.

He and members of the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) have sought the preventive suspension of DoTC Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya, Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) General Manager Jose Angel Hornado, Office for Transportation Security (OTS) Administrator Roland Recomono and PNP Director Francisco Balagtas.

“If our officials cannot solve these issues fast and ensure the safety and well being of the people they were sworn to protect then I see no point in making them remain in office. They should be dismissed and removed from their post,’’ Cayetano insisted.

Cayetano noted that the “tanim bala’’ modus has been going on for several years particularly at the NAIA 1 and 2 victimizing the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) who are considered the nation’s new heroes.

He even mentioned the case of journalist Vito Barcelo who claimed to have been victimized by the “tanim bala’’ scheme several years ago.

Cayetano’s complaint pointed primarily to the inaction of the respondents even amidst their knowledge that such crime is being committed by their subordinate within their jurisdiction.

Amidst the scandal, the VACC went further as it called for the resignation of President Aquino and turn over the reign of leadership to Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno until a new president is elected in 2016.

Dante Jimenez founding chairman of the VACC scored Aquino for another high profile scandal in his administration saying it has caused a paralyzing effect on the country’s honor and integrity.

“Aquino must resign now to free the country from further embarrassment before the international community. It is unfortunate that Aquino cannot be impeached because of his immunity from complaint and possible arrest under a rotten 1987 Constitution and the Crime Justice System,’’ Jimenez said.

Jimenez said the government must put premium on the latest scandal (tanim-bala) which jeopardizes P1.3 trillion of OFW annual remittances coming from some 2.3 Filipinos working abroad and the employment of about 4.8 million Filipinos contributing to about 7.4 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the tourism industry.