Stop bringing firearms, fliers told

Airport authorities on Saturday reminded air travelers not to bring firearms and other prohibited items such as live ammunition and amulet during their trips to avoid flight delays.

Security personnel of the Manila International Airport Authority continue apprehending passengers carrying bullets despite the much-publicized ban and numerous warnings about the danger of bringing in or carrying such prohibited items.

On Saturday, members of the MIAA-Office of the Transportation Security caught a passenger bound for Tagbilaran in possession of two .45-caliber bullets while she was at the initial screening checkpoint of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 4.

The departing passenger identified as Rhodora Vargas was stopped for inspection when images of bullets were seen on her sling bag after it passed the x-ray security machine.

The OTS men confiscated and turned over the prohibited items to the PNP-Aviation Security Group for proper documentation and disposition.

Following a brief discussion and explanation with the authorities about her items, the passenger was allowed to board her flight.

The MIAA recently installed disposal booths or cubicles to serve as passengers' luggage checking station before entering security screening checkpoints.

The cubicle dubbed as the “Last Look Booth” would help passengers dispose of items the airport authorities prohibits such as gun, bullets, knife and other deadly weapons and prevent delayed flights.

The MIAA management said that those who were caught carrying live ammunitions are mostly members of law enforcement agencies and military men, while those who carried amulets were civilians.

Upon assumption of office, President Rodrigo Duterte prohibited authorities, particularly OTS personnel and Avsegroup policemen, from arresting passengers for bringing in bullets inside their luggage.

Duterte's directive came following the controversial "tanim-bala" (bullet-planting) extortion scheme allegedly perpetrated by some erring airport personnel.

Air travelers would not be detained or prosecuted if an ammunition or amulet is confiscated from them, as per Duterte's order.

Instead, the passengers in possession of prohibited items will be placed under profiling to determine if they have links to any terrorist or criminal group, or have criminal intention to carry the bullet.

Topics: Airport authorities , Firearms , Air travelers
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