The Manila International Airport Authority on Monday cleared of any wrongdoing its personnel who were accused by a female passenger of planting a bullet inside her bag at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport last Friday.
This, after the MIAA and the Office for Transportation Security came up with the results of the investigations in the case of Kristine Bumanlag Moran who claimed someone at the X-ray scanning in Naia Terminal 3 put a .9mm bullet inside her luggage.
The case went viral on social media over the weekend after Bumanlag posted the incident in her Facebook account.
The airport authority maintains there was no irregularity on the actions of screening personnel, who simply strictly followed standard operating procedures.
Based on the results of the probe released by the MIAA media affairs division, the complainant along with her mother and daughter “passed through initial security screening at Gate 2. It also showed that Ms. Bumanlag’s brown bag was subjected to baggage search after the X-ray operator observed an image of an ammunition. Note that at this point, the bag was still wrapped in plastic.”
It stated the X-ray operator sought the assistance of a baggage inspector and police personnel to validate the image.
A picture was taken of the said image for preservation.
“After completing the procedural aspects of screening, Ms. Bumanlag removed the clear plastic wrap of the bag in question. A search was conducted in the presence of Ms. Bumanlag, and a video was taken by a screening personnel to allay fears of a ‘tanim bala’ [bullet dropping] scheme,” it said.
It said “The inspection resulted in the recovery of one piece of live ammunition for caliber .9mm. Ms. Bumanlag was informed of this, and was told that the item will be confiscated. Ms. Bumanlag was also assured by the screening personnel that after documentation, she and her companions will be allowed to board their flight bound for Zamboanga.”
Unfortunately, even after these assurances, Bumanlag created a scene and uttered foul allegations to the airport personnel, which she also posted in Facebook, according to MIAA.
“What happened to Ms. Bumanlag has happened several times before, wherein ammunition would be found on passengers’ bags and belongings. Such as the case of Ms. Bumanlag, the items were confiscated and the incidents were documented. After which, passengers were allowed to board their flight,” it stated.
Reports showed Bumanlag’s father was a retired member of the Philippine Marines, while his brother was an active member of the Philippine National Police.
According to MIAA, finding ammunition, or other prohibited items, is a fairly common incident during baggage screening.
Standard procedures have been put in place, to ensure that passengers will not be subjected to unnecessary hassle.