Photo credit: Boboy Consunji
Just when I thought the “laglag or tanim-bala” scam was over, I thought wrong. A Netizen posted two photos of alleged bullets found in NAIA 3.
Ironically, the incident happened today, Independence Day, June 12. According to his post, he got a message from his foreign friends shortly after dropping them off at NAIA terminal 3, around 10:20 AM. He was also shocked as he thought the horrible scam has already been ceased at the airport. Luckily, his friends got through with no incidents of extortion or harassment.
Read the full story below:
It had to happen on Philippine Independence Day. A few minutes after I dropped off my two friends around 10.20 AM today at NAIA Terminal 3, I get a message from them about NAIA security discovering three bullets in the luggage. I was shocked since I thought the “laglag bala” scam had ceased at the airport.
Before I could even turn back to help them out, I was told they got through with no incidents of extortion or harassment. It must be my Pinoy friend’s steely gaze and calm demeanour that unsettled the security (by the way, he’s a CEO in a media agency, a longtime KL resident; he’s never held a gun). Or the scammers’ finding out that my other friend was Malaysian (he could pass for Pinoy; and it’s been known that they’d only prey on fellow Pinoys). The scammers asked them to dispose of the bullets. They didn’t, refusing to touch the bullets. It seemed like the scammers were intimidated by my friends and knew that they weren’t scam-worthy.
It was embarrassing for me as their Filipino host to learn that they had to end their holiday in the Philippines on such a distressing note. They’re frequent visitors here, and would spend their hard-earned dollars on Philippine tourism. They don’t deserve to be treated this way.
The question remains, why is this still happening? It’s just too bad that my friends weren’t able to get the names of those who “found” the bullets. I know it’s been officially declared that mere possession of bullets in an airport is not a crime. But just the same, people at the airport should be sanctioned, fired and tried for trying to pull off such scams, for traumatizing tourists that we lure to the islands.
So, please continually to be alert when travelling through our airports. If it happens to you or anyone, stand your ground, and take pictures of the scammers and get their names. And, please share this note to as many influential people in government who are advocating for change.
I hope this gets Senator Ralph Recto’s attention who pushed for the “laglag bala” probe in the last Congress. Sir RGR, the scam is still on. This has got to stop. Thank you.
Let me repeat, this horrendous scam has to stop. It has to. We are cited as one of the best travel destinations for a reason. Let us act like one. Let’s not give travelers and fellow Filipinos a bad name, please.
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