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Sunday, December 3, 2023

DOTr orders OTS ‘dollar-swallower’ sacked, charged

The Department of Transportation has ordered the Office of Transportation Security (OTS) to immediately file the necessary charges against security screening personnel involved in an incident of baggage theft at Terminal 1 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

Transportation Secretary Jaime J. Bautista expressed frustration and dismay at the incident at NAIA on September 8 just when he was recently trying to promote among potential foreign investors who may want to operate and maintain the country’s main gateway.

The news about the Screening Security Officer (SSO) at NAIA who was caught stealing and swallowing three US 100-dollar bills has caused outrage among the public.

The Office for Transportation Security (OTS) has relieved and suspended the female SSO, who will now face administrative and criminal charges, it said in a statement.

Bautista further directed DOTr Undersecretary for Legal Reinier Yebrato assist in filing the complaints “against those determined to have connived” in stealing from the handcarried bag of a Chinese passenger.

The Transportation chief has authorized imposing the maximum penalty to those found guilty to demonstrate the agency’s push to rid NAIA and its other attached agencies of scalawags.

“How do we convince tourists to love the Philippines if their security is in danger once they set foot on our land?” asked Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva in a hearing.

“Let us give them (tourists) a happy experience, and not a horror story,” he said.

Villanueva said it is a shame “that this incident happened in out airport.

He noted that this was not the first incident of stealing at the airport, “but it seems they were not afraid to commit a crime.” He considered the swallowing of the dollar bills “a new scheme to avoid being apprehended.”

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