A US-based Filipino couple who recently arrived in the Philippines for a vacation received a nasty surprise after discovering that more than P20,000 worth of goods were stolen from their balikbayan boxes.
Fe Lopez and Odiyl Glem Gutierrez told "24 Oras" in an exclusive report that about half of Gutierrez's personal items were stolen along with Lopez's 'pasalubong.'
"Yung mga sapatos ko, 'yung mga luma, 'yun natira, 'yung gamit. 'Yung mga bago [ang kinuha]," Gutierrez said.
"'Di ko naman memorized 'yung nakalagay sa box ko. Pero 'yung sa loob lang, siguro mga chocolates tsaka 'yung mga lotion, 'di ko pa alam kung nakuha," Lopez said.
Gutierrez's box underwent random inspection by the US Transport Security Administration, while Lopez passed through customs untouched.
However, upon arriving in the Philippines, they found the tops and sides of the balikbayan boxes ripped, despite the boxes leaving Los Angeles in pristine condition.
Manila International Airport Administration General Manager Jose Angel Honrado said all responsibilities for the missing packages lie with Philippine Airlines, which brought the couple back to the Philippines.
"Airlines have 100% accountability on luggages from check-in to retrieval at destination," he said in a statement.
PAL spokesperson Cielo Villaluna stated that the airline already began an investigation into the couple's complaint, which was filed soon after their arrival last September 5.
"PAL is looking into the complaint regarding the missing items. A determination has to be made on the circumstances which led to this. PAL is already in receipt of the complaint," she said. —Rie Takumi/KBK, GMA News