SENATOR Grace Poe has expressed belief that the closed-circuit television (CCTV) recordings at the NAIA Terminal 1 which showed a female security screening officer (SSO) from the Office for Transportation Secusrity (OTS) swallowing what is believed to be dollar bills is not the entire story, citing reports reaching her office that she was actually directed to do so.
“Maaaring ang nakita sa CCTV ay hindi ang buong kwento. May mga report pa na nagsasabing inutusan ang OTS personnel na gawin ito para hindi mahuli. Ibig sabihin, may mga kasabwat pa ito,” said Poe, chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Services.
“Nakakagalit at nakakahiya ang pangyayaring ito. Parang hindi nauubusan ng gimik ang mga kawatan sa airport,” the senator said.
“We ask the airport security office to properly vet applicants and reinterview existing employees to determine their qualifications and evaluate their performance,” Poe said.
She also raised the need to immediately investigate, file cases and fire employees found involved in criminal activities, adding that those who violate the law must be punished at once.
Her reaction came after news broke out about a lady SSO swallowing what appeared to be dollar bills taken from a departing Chinese passenger who complained that his wallet had been opened and that he had lost $300 bills after his bag underwent inspection at the final security checkpoint of the NAIA Terminal 1 last September 8, 2023.
The incident was not the first under the administration of Aplasca.
Last February 22, five OTS personnel at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 2 were caught on two video footages in an incident where transiting Thai tourist Kitja Thabthim had lost 40,000 yen.
Days after this, another screening officer was also caught on video after taking the watch of another Chinese passenger identified as Sun Yuhong, who complained having lost his watch after his bag underwent screening by an SSO who was subsequently nabbed and charged by the Philippine National Police Aviation Security Group.