TANIM BALA or Bullet planting in luggage of passengers at Philippines International Airport : What to do

Planting of bullets in unsuspecting and innocent travellers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) by corrupt airport personnel, and extorting money from the travellers in exchange for letting them board their plane, is a current ongoing major scandal in the Philippines. The modus operandi is to plant a single bullet in the luggage (the outer puch being favored) and supposedly seaching and detaining the unsuspecting passenger. The amounts extorted range from P5000 to P50,000 to several thousands of dollars. The victims have been Filipinos as well as foreigners, whether overseas workers, tourists, professionals, ordinary housewives, elderly senior citizens, and young lady travellers. The United Nations itself has just issued a travel advisory and warning to its staff regarding this bullet planting syndicate at NAIA airport.

To use bullets as a means of falsely incriminating innocent passengers is also an insult to all responsible gun owners of the Philippines who obey the laws.

PROGUN denounces such corrupt acts as a direct affront to travellers of all nationalities and backgrounds. A serious investigation should be immediately undertaken by an outside agency such as the NBI to ensure impartiality, and the perpetrators apprehended and charged accordingly. PROGUN likewise joins the call for airport manager Jose Angel Honrado to resign and for an immediate revamp of the airport personnel who are in charge of searching passengers’ baggages.

All travellers to and from the Philippines are thus strongly urged to take precautions with their baggage, make sure that the items are all locked and secured, and if possible wrapped in plactic entirely. Also it is important to watch airport personnel closely as they inspect your baggage.

PROGUN offers free legal assistance to victims of this “Tanim Bala” or bullet planting syndicate.

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