DEPARTMENT of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Jaime Bautista ordered on Thursday, September 21, 2023, the filing of charges against the security screening officer of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1 who was seen swallowing money allegedly stolen from a passenger.
In a statement, Bautista expressed dismay and frustration over the incident especially as the government promotes the country’s main gateway to foreign investors for operation and maintenance.
He said he also directed Undersecretary for Legal Affairs Attorney Reinier Yebra to assist in filing the complaints against those screening security personnel determined to have connived in the theft incident.
In a viral video, a female airport screening security officer was seen swallowing the money, reportedly $300 or around P15,000, which she allegedly stole from the baggage of a departing Chinese passenger.
The airport officer is currently under preventive suspension, pending a “more comprehensive” investigation” according to the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA).
“We trust the leadership of the Office for Transportation Security. Their immediate request for viewing of the CCTV footage shortly after the incident happened is a manifestation of their resolve to take quick action against erring personnel. We believe that they are doing what is necessary to police their ranks and protect the reputation of the greater majority of frontliners who remain true to their oath of office,” MIAA Officer-in-Charge Bryan Co said.
As part of preventive measures amid the series of reports of theft in the security screening checkpoints in the airport, the Office of the Transportation Security (OTS) ordered the removal of pockets of their personnel’s uniform.
OTS Administrator Undersecretary Ma.O Aplasca maintained they will not tolerate such wrong doings, which he said not only affect the agency but the country as a whole.
He also encouraged the public to report illegal activities committed by OTS personnel so as to finally cleanse its ranks from unscrupulous individuals who attempt to bypass the preventive measures implemented by the agency. (SunStar Philippines)