Travellers passing through NAIA have a 0.005% chance of falling victim to ‘bullet planting’ – DOTC

Why is it that Filipinos are struggling to convince the world — and even themselves — that the bullet planting scam in their premiere airport, the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), is just a relatively small problem that affects an almost negligible percentage of travellers?

laglag_bala_naiaAccording to Department of Transport and Communications (DOTC) Secretary Jun Abaya, of the 34 million people who went through the NAIA in 2014, only 1,813 were caught in possession of ammunition in their luggage. On the basis of those numbers, the average traveller arriving or departing via the NAIA will have a 0.005 percent chance of falling victim to the laglag bala (bullet planting) scam. It means you have a greater chance of being killed while crossing a street in Manila than falling victim to bullet planting at the NAIA.

Of course the figures quoted by Abaya only represent documented cases. We don’t really know how many of these cases go unreported and undocumented. According to anecdotal reports, the modus operandi of crooked airport officials is to take their victims directly to an ATM machine to withdraw their negotiated “fine”. Official walks away happy, passenger gets to board her flight. Everyone “wins”. By Pinoy standards, that is.

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Even if, say, the total number of undocumented bullet planting incidents is a hundred times the number quoted by the DOTC, that takes the percentage of incidents up to just 0.5 percent. Still a small number, probably smaller than the probability of having your handbag snatched or your wallet stolen while shopping at one of Manila’s crowded malls.

If so, then the more interesting question therefore is: Why are Filipinos so quick to be whipped into a frenzy? And more importantly: Why is the stigma so hard to shake off?

This points to an even more disturbing aspect of the emergent psyche of the Filipino. Philippine society is one where social trust is extremely low. That is,

Filipinos do not trust one another.

This is not a good sign. Many notable intellectuals have cited this gaping hole in our cultural fabric that points to a serious disease that threatens the overall health of our society.

According to the late Teddy Benigno in one of his Star articles cited “A recent survey conducted by Prof. Jose Abueva, formerly UP president, show[ing] that beyond the family, Filipinos hardly trusted anybody.”

However, according to noted American political analyst Francis Fukuyama, “One of the most important lessons we can learn from an examination of economic life is that a nation’s well-being, as well as its ability to compete, is conditioned by a single, pervasive cultural characteristic: the level of trust inherent in the society.”

Teddy Benigno then goes on to say that “The most economically advanced, politically sturdy countries are the high-trust ones like Japan, Germany, the US and China. Occupying the cellar are low-trust countries like the Philippines, Cambodia, Burma, Laos, many in Latin America, a multitude in Africa.” Of course the fact that the malady afflicts other countries does not diminish the impact of this critical reality in the Philippines and that it is something that needs to be addressed in absolute terms.

Jaime Licauco in an Inquirer article dated 22 May 2001 went as far as saying that: “A nation whose policies and rules are based on the assumption that everybody is a cheat and liar unless proven otherwise cannot long endure. Take a close look at our bureaucracy and its rules. It is burdened by elaborate and often unnecessary checks and balances so that nothing ever gets done in the process.”

Indeed, a fatal culture of crime has all but taken hold of Philippine society. No less than the President of the Philippines himself is seen to be a person that cannot be trusted thanks to the opacity with which he was known to manage the national budget and the underhanded way with which he’s coddled his buddies in the Cabinet and attempted to bargain away chunks of Mindanao to Islamic terrorists.

It is, thus, hardly surprising that Filipinos are increasingly lashing out at their government. There is very little evidence that anyone ever gets seriously investigated for alleged acts of corruption and plunder much more thrown in prison for reasons other than political vendetta. In short, justice in Philippine society is selectively applied. In the case of this most recent bullet planting craze, Filipinos are skeptical that anything will be done stem this scandal on account of the family ties enjoyed by the top officials otherwise accountable for the quality and integrity of services delivered by the NAIA to the public.

22 Replies to “Travellers passing through NAIA have a 0.005% chance of falling victim to ‘bullet planting’ – DOTC”

  1. This bullet planting is all too easy to get to the bottom of it and solve.

    Solution A:
    Get about a hundred undercover agents to act as unwary travelers going through NAIA. When a bullet is found planted with any of them, have them go through the motions up to the point where somebody asks them to “fix” the said situation. There, simple. They will be caught red handed. I just do not get it why this was not thought of and done.

    Solution B:
    Just amend the law regarding this ridiculous and oudated law. It is just a bullet anyway, what could you do with a single bullet? Remove the point where the scammers have any leverage over the victim. Again, simple solution.

    I am very sure more simple solutions can be thought of.

    Hirap kasi sa mga tanga e.

    1. the problem is di nila kayang gawin yan dahil mismo ang administrasyong aquino may pakana nyan nang sa ganun babalik ang tiwala ng kumakampi sa opposisyon..desperate move kumbaga…of course anjan na ang isyu na yan dati pa but instead na masira sila ginamit nila yan as an advantage,,diba may sense?kita mo naman sinabi na ni roxas na sinisiraan xa ni stupid it is for filipino qng maniwala sila sa scheme nitong gobyerno.

      1. This government is too busy with sending stupid idiots to defend their incompetence.
        No wonder they can’t get to the bottom of this mess.

      2. @ Andrie

        May tiwala pa ba sa kanila till now?

        Is there something to discredit about PNoy admin? He didn’t have any credbility to start with.


      The people that get caught would have relatives in high places …and how would that look?

      The lack of shame of the political class in the Failippines is what has enabled such brazen acts of thievery and scumbaggery. The people have a penchant for not ‘LOSING FACE’ while the political class can not care less about ‘losing face’, they do it all the time and become richer for it. E-RAP is the once disgraced President and is now Mayor of Manila for crissakes.

      the coma of the citizenry is terminal. NOTHING WILL WAKE THEM UP.

  2. People that have trust issues only need to look in the mirror. There they will meet the one person that will betray them the most.

  3. Again, it is complicated because a relative is the manager. Honrado is aide de camp of Cory, and they will move heaven and earth to protect this fellow. They will lie if needed. And who cares if the reputation of the country suffers in the process.

    Same as in the case of Purisima, Abaya, etc.

    1. Yeah Add what is wrong with these people ? – this padrino system sucks!

      I would rather have a super computer with no relatives or friends serve as president who will appoint key persons based on points.

      At least for now there are still some people left with common sense to oppose this practice. But the bill may likely just get disapproved by Mr Reality’s “lordship”.

      MDS’ bill:

      1. “super computer with no relatives or friends serve as president”

        There is one called the sybil system though it’s fictional it is quite accurate, if you haven’t watch it try it, Search Psycho-Pass on youtube it’s an intellectual japanese anime for mature audiences with a very high imdb rating.
        Highly recommended if you’re curious on how an emotionless rational ruler will run a country 🙂

        1. Whenever I see the widespread thievery in PH, I always remember Psycho Pass’ Sibyl System. Even though the system has flaws, its much better in preventing crime. At least nobody is over the law cant pay bribes and saves more lives.

        2. The movie for it aptly reflects how a third world society attempts to implement a Sybil system in their own country. It doesn’t go as well as planned.

  4. “of the 34 million people who went through the NAIA in 2014, only 1,813 were caught in possession of ammunition in their luggage.”

    LOL. It’s like they are being scornful because the criminals can only do so little. Ironic because they made it sound that the scammers are nothing but a small fish and yet they find them hard to track and convict. Or what is it? As long as it’s a small time crime okay na sa gobyerno natin? No wonder we’re flooded with undisciplined and law-breaking Pinoys.

    Hehe. The low level of trust of people towards their government and other people will tell how bad Filipinos are treating each other.

  5. From:
    ‘Laglag-bala’ outrages military, police brass

    ““The DoTC will respond to all this new case filed by Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano. Let’s just let the DoTC and those officials answer to these allegations,” Lacierda said.
    Asked on the possibility that the charges against Abaya, who is LP acting president, could be fueled by politics, Lacierda said “There are those reports but we would rather set aside all political colors and let’s look at the data as objective as possible.”
    Lacierda said President Aquino continues to retain his trust in the DoTC despite the scandal insisting that the department would still be the one investigating on the “laglag bala” issue as ordered by the President. He shunned proposals that an independent body investigate on the matter.”

    Tell me how I can trust that statement? Allegations? I do not think Cayetano has to allege, we do not allege that they were negligent with their duties, we say they are inutile with their duties. So Sack them already!!!

    One more point.. so Lamierda is also spokesperson for DOTC and MIAA? They really think all filipinos are idiots don’t they?

  6. In an effort to protest this laglag bala, people can just go to the airport with bare undergarments on.

    Only problem is – they will then become victims of the laglag panty scam.

    PHIL -the never ending story…

  7. So, the Mindset of that idiot Abaya is: If one or two murders is committed among a million residents. It is still a safe and a peaceful place. Do not worry, if you will become the next victim. You are just a Statistics, according to that idiot Abaya.

    The Bullet planting extortion/scam is already known throughout the world. News is being flashed on worldwide networks, telling people to avoid the Philippines; because airport employees, are extorting money, by planting bullets on luggages. “Nakakahiya na tayo sa buong mundo”…Aquino is doing nothing, as usual. Abaya is rationalizing the extortion/scam, that they are just minor/isolated problems.

    Aquino and Abaya are involved in this extortion/scam as a diversionary tactic of their : thievery, incompetence, corruption, …etc.. it is a “Weapon of Mass Diversion”…you can see the Propaganda Networks of Aquino , working overtime, to put this news on the air, frequently. So that, we will overlook the: DAP, PDAF, Pork Barrel Bribery, BBL Law, incompetence, corruption, Typhoon Yolanda Fund disappearance, etc…

    It is like Nazi Fuhrer Adolf Hitler Propaganda Machine tactic…Joseff Goebbels, the Minister of Nazi Propaganda of Hitler, is the hero of Aquinos’ propagandists. They are imitating his propaganda tactics.

  8. what the hell is wrong with being accountable for this? Just say we will investigate and stop these bala dropping a:-o!@$.

    why go through cheap math tricks? Stupid carp like anting anting theory. Come on its not 1896.

  9. The Failippines is doomed. Get out now, if you can…..and never go back. it is beyond saving and has been for quite sometime.

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