A 68-year old woman was arrested for allegedly carrying a bullet in her handbag while inside the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Manila, Philippines.
This incident happened shortly after an anonymous source exposed the devious victim-selection strategy of the “laglag-bala” syndicate, which is a group of unscrupulous airport employees whose modus is to plant bullets inside passengers’ bags.
Members of the Philippine National Police Aviation Security Group (PNP-AVSEGROUP) apprehended 68-year old Revelina A. Combis on Thursday, October 29, at 9:45 a.m. at NAIA Terminal 3 due to a caliber 45 bullet that they apparently found in her luggage.
Combis, a resident of South Poblacion, Dipaculao, Aurora, was bound for Boracay, a prime tourist destination in the Philippines. She was about to board the Philippine Airlines flight PR 2041 to Caticlan, but the Office for Transportation Security (OTS) personnel arrested her when they found the piece of ammunition.
The woman was charged with Violation of Section 28 of Republic Act 10591 or the “Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act” before that Pasay City prosecutor’s office.
The PNP-AVSEGROUP arrested two more individuals at NAIA earlier, apparently for carrying bullets.
The airport police detained Kazunobu Sakamoto, a 33-year-old Japanese tourist who was returning to his country when the personnel saw images of bullets for a 9mm pistol during the x-ray screening. The OTS also inspected Sakamoto’s bag manually and claimed that there were two bullets inside the tourist’s baggage.
The other “suspect”, 56-year-old Gloria Ortinez, a domestic helper bound for Hongkong, was said to have been carrying a bullet for a carbine rifle in her bag.
“God knows I am a victim of ‘tanim-bala’ modus in the airport by these unscrupulous OTS personnel who only want to earn easy money,” Ortinez said.
Meanwhile, Ortinez’s lawyer offered these pieces of advice to all passengers who are accused of possession of bullets:
First, you have the right to remain silent in regard to the accusation. As they say, anything you’ll say can or be used against you based on the MIRANDA DOCTRINE.
Second, you have the right not to touch the bullet or the pouch that enclosed the bullet. This makes sense because you don’t want your fingerprints all over the ‘planted evidence’ if indeed it is not yours in the first place.
Third, call a lawyer or request for a lawyer. You have the right to refuse to do anything or speak in the absence of a lawyer.
Fourth, don’t admit to the crime. This is very basic. If you admit to the crime, then you’re dead. Even under the extreme pressure, don’t admit to the crime that you are not guilty of.
Fifth, don’t sign any document. If you are requested to sign a document, blank or otherwise, don’t sign anything unless advised by your legal counsel.
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