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Sen. Marcos deplores palace attempt to belittle “tanim-bala” with statistics

Press Releases
24 November 2015

Bersyon sa Filipino.

Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr. today deplored the attempt of Malacañang to belittle the alleged existence of “tanim-bala” syndicates operating in the country’s airports, preying mostly on elderly passengers and Overseas Filipino Workers.

Earlier, President Aquino expressed doubts about an organized “tanim-bala” extortion scheme, noting that only three passengers from 34 million that pass the airports annually had complained so far about the alleged extort scheme as he also accused the media of sensationalizing the issue.

“It is unfortunate that instead of trying to get into the bottom of these allegations the President instead chose to dismiss these outright with statistics and even defended the airport authorities,” Marcos lamented.

"Reports affirm that many victims of the" tanim-bala" scheme opted to just pay up instead of reporting it to the authorities to avoid inconvenience."

“This is not about statistics; this is about an entire life, career or future of an individual and their families ruined by an extortion scheme. One incident of "tanim-bala" is one incident too many,” Marcos asserted.

Marcos cited the case of OFW Gloria Ortinez, charged for allegedly bringing a bullet in her luggage, who was jailed but later cleared, nearly losing her job in Hong Kong where she worked for over 20 years. Toots Ople who accompanied Nanay Glo to Hong Kong said Nanay Glo is on rest mode now trying to recover from the trauma of the "tanim-bala" incident.

Likewise, Marcos said Malacañang’s reaction puts into question the government’s sincerity in addressing the alleged extortion scheme plaguing the country’s airports.

“The National Bureau of Investigation has yet to complete its investigation of the alleged "tanim-bala" extort scheme. When the President doubts an organized "tanim-bala" extortion scheme exists, that would certainly put a cloud of doubt on whatever findings the NBI will come up with later,” Marcos emphasized.

Marcos, who was among the first lawmakers to denounce the "tanim-bala" scheme, earlier urged Malacañang to fire Manila International Airport Gen. Manager Jose Honrado for allowing the “tanim-bala” syndicate to operate in the airports with impunity.