Security declares travel to Davao is still safe vs ‘laglag bala’

DAVAO CITY, Nov. 4 (PNA) — Aviation Security Group XI chief John Deleon Esteban declared the Davao’s Francisco Bangoy International Airport as safe for passengers against the “laglag bala” scam as he dismissed speculations the illegal activity exist after an engineer was nabbed with bullets on his luggage.

“I denied, walang laglag bala (there is no laglag bala),” Esteban said during Tuesday’s AFP-PNP Presscorps forum at Ritz Hotel.

He said that to prove there was no such “laglag bala” scam happening in Davao Airport, they kept reviewing the CCTV footages of the last incident when Engineer Augusto Dagan was caught with two pieces of 9mm bullets in his luggage.

“We reviewed the footages of the CCTV of the last incident, hands-off ang screeners natin dun, hands-off ang police natin dun. Ang humawak lang ng bagahe niya is yung pasahero mismo (the screeners were hands-off, our police there were hands-off. It was only the passenger who held the luggage),” Esteban said.

On Oct. 30, Dagan who was an outbound passenger of Philippines Airlines for Manila, was caught with two pieces of bullets inside his luggage at the first screening. He is also facing charges and posted Php 120,000 bail bond for his temporary liberty.

While he clears the Davao Airport against “laglag bala” scam, Esteban voiced concern that wrapping of luggage at Ninoy Aquino International Airport was a disgrace to the image of the country.

He said that it only implied that the Filipino no longer trust the security forces of the government.

Esteban suggested to the passengers of Davao Airport to avoid wrapping their luggage to maintain the good image of the city.

“Dito sa Davao I suggest wag nilang gawin yun, para hindi naman masira ang image natin (Here in Davao I suggest don’t do that so we will not destroy the image),” he said.

“Masyado pong exaggerated yun. Masisira po yung image natin, pati yung bansa natin. Maganda dun, icheck natin ang baggage natin before tayo pumasok sa terminal (It is so exaggerated. It will destroy our image and our country. It is better to check our baggage before entering the terminal),” Esteban added.

He also assured the public that the airport personnel is strengthening the strict implementation of the rules in the airport.

Esteban said that before a passenger could enter the terminal, one would undergo under four different security units including, the Regional Public Safety Battalion (RPSB), Task Force Davao, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) and the office of the transport security.

Additional CCTVs were also placed inside and outside of the airport for further monitoring. (PNA)