JOSIE Marie Paz Trias, 34, deserves full support for her courage to lodge a complaint before the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in Manila on Tuesday against those who may be responsible for the “tanim or laglag bala” modus at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

The “tanim or laglag bala” (planting of a bullet) on the luggage of innocent outgoing passengers has become the international shame for this government yet Malacañang is dawdling on the investigation.

Trias narrated that on Oct. 27 her mother, grandmother, uncle and she were to board a Cebu Pacific flight for Singapore to have her grandmother undergo medical tests at the Singapore General Hospital for her illness.

She was shocked when told that a bullet, wrapped in transparent plastic, was allegedly found at the front pocket of her backpack. She had checked the front pocket of her bag and it was empty before she left home for the airport.

At the security screening area, they were told that her uncle’s bag was too heavy. They were instructed to transfer some contents to the other bags. She lost sight of her bag while doing the work.

Believe it or not, Trias said she was made to sign a prepared statement that the bullets were her “agimat” or amulet. Trias’s case was not the first. The crocs at NAIA prey on passengers who don’t want to miss their scheduled flights or appointments abroad. I wish more victims will come out and testify.

I was amused, instead of infuriated at the PNP Aviation Security Group’s press statement read by Supt. Jeanne Panisan that some passengers perhaps don’t know that a bullet is placed in their bag because of the Filipino belief in “agimat.” Wasn’t this term used in Trias’s ready statement?

Most if not all of us are aware that it is a crime to carry or possess live ammunition or guns without a license to own and possess them. Hello, Chief Panisan, did I miss something?

So why in heaven’s name would a person put bullets in his/her luggage when they are going to a foreign land, like Singapore, where the laws are enforced to the letter and the penalty is imposed without mercy?

The claim of the AvSecGroup that their personnel are not involved in the inspection of luggage and bags only gives us reason to doubt if only few misguided souls are part of the bigger picture. This is a syndicated operation.

Malacañang should step in now. Suspend the persons in interest at NAIA while the NBI conducts the investigation. This could, at least, mitigate the people’s ire on this administration.


Rep. Gwen Garcia cannot claim victory on the decision of the Supreme Court (SC) that affirmed the rulings of the lower courts ordering Capitol to pay the contractor for the construction of the now infamous Cebu International Convention Center (CICC).

At the end of the day, it is the Province of Cebu and the taxpayers who are the losers because they would pay more than what is the true cost of the CICC, which was closed to business after it was damaged by the 7.2 magnitude earthquake two years ago.

The CICC issue is always associated with former governor and now Congresswoman Garcia of the third district of Cebu. The CICC was hurriedly constructed during her term as governor as venue for the Asean Summit in 2012.

She was charged before the Ombudsman on suspicion that the CICC was overpriced. The original budget was P400 million but at the latter part of the construction it ballooned to almost one billion pesos.

The contractor, WT Inc., filed a collection case in court against Capitol after the latter didn't pay the balance. Gov. Hilario P. Davide III opposed the payment and the case reached the SC.

Garcia has no factual and legal basis to claim she was vindicated with the SC’s decision. She missed the point because this is a collection case for the contractor’s unpaid services and not whether the construction of the CICC is irregular or not.