2 departing OFWs nabbed at NAIA over bullet amulets
Despite appeals from airport officials, two departing OFWs were arrested Wednesday at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) for carrying live bullets which they said were amulets or "anting-anting."
According to a memorandum signed by Police Chief Inspector Dave Escopete Mahilum, 28-year-old Phyche Bobos Moran was stopped at 6:50 a.m. during initial security check when a screening officer spotted what looked like a bullet inside her red bag through X-ray.
As per procedure, Moran, who was headed for Kaohsiung aboard China Airlines flight CI712, was asked to manually inspect her own bag in the presence of airport authorities. She then produced one ammunition for a caliber .45 pistol and another bullet for an unknown caliber.
The memorandum said Moran claimed the bullets were her amulets.
Meanwhile, another memorandum said Boiden Galarse Balallo, 41, was stopped at the final security checkpoint at 8:50 a.m. for the same infraction.
Balallo, who is from Caliat in Nueva Vizcaya and was bound for Taipei via China Airlines flight CI702, was found to be carrying one piece of ammunition for a caliber .22 weapon.
The memorandum said Balallo was arrested after he failed to present pertinent documents for the bullet. He also claimed the bullet was his amulet.
Both Moran and Balallo were departing for overseas jobs as factory workers.
A lawyer from the Public Attorney's Office and officers from the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration and Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption arrived to accompany the two to the Pasay City court for inquest proceedings.
Airport officials are now in hot water over accusations of a syndicate operating at the NAIA engaged in the so-called "laglag bala" racket, which involves the planting of bullets in the bags of unsuspecting passengers for extortion.
The alleged scheme has angered the public and drawn international attention. —KBK, GMA News