Filipino PB target of extortion attempt

 

Filipino PB target of extortion attempt

Author: 

George Conger

The Prime Bishop of the Episcopal Church of the Philippines and members of the church’s executive were targets of an extortion attempt last week, when a security screener at Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) planted a bullet in their luggage. On 2 Dec 2015 the Most Rev. Renato Abibico reported that when he and fellow members of the church’s top leadership team were “travelling to Tacloban a bullet was placed inside our bag containing our meeting materials for our meeting.” He reported that “Tanim Bala at NAIA is not a myth. … Fr. Marrero could have been apprehended at the security area had he decided to hand carry the bag. Luckily he decide to. check in the bag. We found the bullet when we opened the bag this morning. It is a 32 caliber bullet. [It] must have been placed by the personnel attending to the X-ray machine upon entering the airport.” In the past two weeks the Manila International Airport Authority has recorded five cases of "tanim bala" [planting of bullets in luggage], where airport screeners allegedly plant live ammunition in order to extort a bribe from the unwary traveller who wishes to avoid arrest. Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr., last month said said tanim bala was an isolated problem, but this week said the upsurge in complaints would prompt a government investigation.

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