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Sunday, December 10, 2023

‘Airport molotov bomb explosion not a terrorist attack’

The molotov bomb explosion at the parking lot of Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 over the weekend was not a terrorist attack and should not be a cause for alarm, an aviation police official said on Monday.

Aviation Security Group (Avsegroup) Director Brig. Gen. Jack Limpayos Wanky said the incident was an “isolated case.”

The improvised explosive device was thrown from the street into the parking area, causing a minor blast and hitting at least three vehicles. No one was hurt.

Wanky issued the statement following the signing of a covenant on Aviation Security Awareness Program (ASAP) at the airport yesterday that was participated by Avsegroup, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA), and the Office for Transportation Security (OTS).

Airport officials, however, clarified the covenant signing was not done because of the explosion or the recent alleged theft by certain security screeners of OTS.

An information campaign on airport security will also be launched for passengers, Wanky said.

MIAA officer-in-charge Bryan Co calls for continued cooperation of the airport community, including reporting suspicious-looking individuals as well as unusual movement of people in the airport complex.

Senators have expressed concerns about travelers’ safety after an OTS employee was caught swallowing stolen money.

Senator Grace Poe said the latest incident was a cause for concern as it raises questions about the effectiveness of airport security measures.

She asked the Department of Transportation to conduct a thorough investigation, and for the OTS personnel to be fired immediately if found guilty.

Senator Joel Villanueva added: “Sadly, this is not the first time such an incident has occurred at the airport, and it highlights the prevalence of criminal activities that need to be addressed.”

“To attract more tourists to the Philippines, the airport must provide a happy (positive) experience, not a horror story,” he added.

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