The Department of Transportation and Communications said yesterday that there is no proof that syndicates are behind the “tanim bala” scheme in the country’s airports.
“We have yet to get any fact that there are syndicates that operate this (scheme),” DoTC Secretary Joseph Emilio T. Abaya said during a press conference at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3.
Abaya pointed out that although it was one of the many possibilities, concerned government agencies have yet to provide solid evidence to validate it.
Data from the Office of Transport Security showed that there were 1,394 cases of ammunition interception incidents recorded in 20 of the country’s airports from January to October this year. Of these, 1,212 cases were recorded in NAIA Terminals 1 to 4.
Last year, there were 1,813 cases of ammunition interception incidents recorded in 20 of the country’s airports. Of these, 1,510 cases were recorded in NAIA Terminals 1 to 4.
Philippine National Police Aviation Security Group director Chief Supt. Francisco E. Balagtas said that NAIA Terminals 1 to 4 recorded 139 incidents in 2015 to date, in which people were caught with live ammunition.
Also in Terminals 1 to 4, from March to the present day, only 51 cases have been filed by the PNP Aviation Security Group against those caught with live ammunition as reported to them by screeners.
Meanwhile, Department of Justice Secretary Alfredo Benjamin S. Caguioa has created a National Bureau of Investigation Special Task Force to investigate the tanim bala scam at the NAIA.
Caguioa has given the seven-man man group 15 days from yesterday to finish its investigation on the scam.
(PNA and Ariel Fernandez)