Plant rice, not bullets

20 April 2016

Vice presidential candidate Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos Jr. yesterday hit the fresh case of alleged “Tanim Bala” at the NAIA Terminal 1 involving a 75 year old woman and said that the country should be known for planting real agricultural produce instead of bullets on unsuspecting passengers.

“We should focus on planting rice, not bullets,” Marcos said.

“Nakakahiya na naman ito dahil nalalaman ng mga bumibisita sa bansa na ganyan (tanim bala) ang mga nangyayari. Walang sinisino, foreigner, OFW, ngayon naman senior citizen. Lalo pa at sa airport nangyayari kaya nakakaawa ang ating mga pasahero at malaking dagok sa reputasyon ng bansa natin maging sa turismo. Dapat maimbestigahan na yan at mapanagot ang may pakana. (It is embarrassing for the country as a whole because we are getting the reputation of being good at planting (bullets) instead of farm produce. And the worst part is that these cultprits are doing this in the airport and doing it indiscriminately to foreigners, OFWs and now a senior citizen. I pity our passengers and for sure, this will affect our tourism industry adversely because tourists will be afraid to go through our airports),” Marcos lamented.

Marcos said that while the last round of “tanim bala” incidents actually became the subject of online jokes and memes, people became wary of going through the airports, instead of feeling secure in the facility.

“Pinoys really have a good sense of humor and made funny jokes out of it, and it’s in our nature to deal with problems and issues in such a way for me, it was, and remains really sad because we used to be known as one of the agricultural giants in Asia and the world, and now, we have lagged behind on that front and gained a reputation as a country where bullets are planted,” he said.

Marcos expressed frustration over the incident saying that because there is really nothing stopping the culprits from victimizing the most vulnerable, like the 75 year old woman who was set to fly to the US to seek medical treatment, syndicates will continue their illegal activities.

“We have already investigated this and now it is happening again. Airport authorities should really get to the bottom of the matter, because this issue has been festering for months now. If they cannot curb the problem, they should make room for people who have the capability to do so,” he said.

He reiterated his earlier call for top airport officials to be sacked saying similar incidents continue to happen until the people running the airport are changed. “This will continue to happen until no leadership change happens in our premier airport and this is very frustrating for all of us especially for our travelers,” he said.