Future looks uncertain for OFW victim of ‘laglag bala’
There is no word yet if Gloria Ortinez, the OFW who claimed to have been victimized by the "laglag bala" extortion racket at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), can return to her job as a domestic helper in Hong Kong.
"Her employment right now is really in danger,” said Ortinez's lawyer, Spocky Farolan, in an interview on "News To Go."
Ortinez, 56, is still facing investigation over the bullet found in her luggage last month at the NAIA where she was supposed to depart for Hong Kong. She claimed the bullet was not hers and was planted in her bag by somebody.
Farolan said they've already spoken twice with Ortinez's Hong Kongese employer, "but there still has no clarity because there is communication gap." He said the employer is "not really very well-versed in English."
In a separate television interview, Ortinez said she cannot say yet if her employer has already terminated her.
"Nakausap ko na ang employer ko pero wala pang final na mangyayari kung na-terminate na ba ako o hindi kasi kinakailangan na ako," said Ortinez, a single mother of two and breadwinner of the family.
“Ako lang ang nagtatrabaho sa aming pamilya. Kung mawalan ako ng trabaho wala na talaga. Wala na po ang aking mister,” she said.
Before the incident involving the bullet, Ortinez has been working in Hong Kong for more than 20 years.
Ortinez said the incident has left her badly shaken. "Parang nagkaroon ako ng phobia," she said. "Parang wala na akong tiwala. Pag pumasok ako sa airport natatakot talaga ako, sa tutuo lang talaga."
In the "News To Go" interview, Farolan said they are still waiting for the schedule of the preliminary investigation on the complaint filed against Ortinez, which he said could take two to three months to finish.
Ortinez was stopped at the departure area of NAIA Terminal 2 last October 25 after authorities found a bullet inside her hand-carry bag.
Farolan said if there was indeed bullet inside Ortinez's bag, it should have been detected at the Laoag airport where she came from before going to NAIA for her connecting flight.
"We are asking NAIA and DOTC to produce the CCTV footage tracing yung movement ni Nanay Gloria from Laoag Airport to the NAIA x-ray," he said. "Paano nakalusot 'yun sa Laoag? So kung may naglagay ng bala na 'yun, it was after the screening sa Laoag International Airport."
"So kung makikita natin baka may nakalapit sa kanya na hindi namalayan, may nakapaghulog ng bala," he added.
Farolan said he believes Ortinez, an OFW for 26 years, would not bring a bullet as she knows it is prohibited in Hong Kong airport.
He added Ortinez’s case was not just about the supposed planting of bullet but how she as person a was treated at the airport when the bullet was found in her bag.
"Si Nanay Gloria dinala sa kuwarto na puro awtoridad, very confused and nervous na yung tao tapos sinasabihan ka pa na, 'Aminin mo na kasi, sa'yo yang anting-anting.' Sila ang nagsasabi, it never came from her na anting-anting yun," he said.
He added that the airport personnel also forced Ortinez to sign a paper without explaining its content to her.
“Based on her narration, merong pinapirmang papel. Noong ayaw niyang pirmahan sabi sa kanya, ‘Pag hindi mo pinirmahan ‘yan poposasan ka namin.’ Ni hindi pinaliwanag sa kanya kung ano yung papel na yun. Kahit nung in-escortan na siya ng pulis papuntang presinto, may nagsasabi pa rin na ‘Aminin mo na kasi,” he said.
He said the actions of the airport personnel were in violation of Ortinez’s rights.
Farolan also noted the inconsistency between the picture of the bullet supposedly found in her bag and the actual bullet presented before the Prosecutor’s Office.
“It took them 24 hours before na-inquest. We asked them to show the actual bullet. Ang sabi ng pulis na-expand lang kaya magkaiba pero yung nasa picture maliit at mataba yung bullet, yung color ng tinga at silver. Pero sa actual na pinakita, it is thin, long, and pointed and the tip is brown,” he said.
He added the complaint filed against Ortinez did not mention the kind of bullet that was found in her bag.
“Kung iyan lang ang ipapakita nila mahina ang ebidensya, which bolsters our belief there is anomaly in this incident,” he said. —Amita O. Legaspi/KBK, GMA News