By Macon Araneta | FilAm Star Correspondent
Candidate for vice-president Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. criticized acting Justice Secretary Emmanuel Caparas for his curt dismissal of the latest tanim-bala incident, who said it is a possible smear plot against the government.
Although the Department of Justice (DOJ) is yet to complete its investigation of the alleged tanim-bala incident, Marcos said Caparas practically prejudged the case with his statement.
“By conveniently dismissing this latest incident as a smear campaign against the government, the Justice Secretary has, wittingly or unwittingly, tied the hands of the prosecutors who will investigate the case,” said Marcos.
He said Caparas should at least have waited for the facts of the case to be established before making any comment on the incident.
Caparas also noted that the bullet-planting issue at the airport is already a “dead issue.” He said airport security has already instituted measures and additional protocols to ensure that similar incidents that mushroomed last year will not happen again.
Salvacion Cortabista and her husband, Esteban, 78, were barred from boarding their California-bound flight on April 19 after NAIA 1 screeners found a live bullet inside the couple’s hand-held luggage.
The couple denied owning the bullet and stressed their bags went through the X-ray machine and there were no hitches..
The couple said that while they were detained at the airport, wheelchair attendant Nini Namba demanded that they pay PHP 50,000 for them to be released and allowed to board their Korean Airline flight bound for the United States.
Public Attorney’s Office Chief Persida Rueda Acosta said a witness will come out to support the claim of the couple.
Marcos emphasized that the reports on the details of the incident are enough to cast doubt on the allegations against the Cortabista couple.
She noted a report that the wife is a former airport employee. Because of this, Marcos said she is well aware of the stringent security procedures there.
“Curiously, nothing illegal was detected when the couple’s belongings went through an X-ray examination at the initial security check area,” said Marcos.
“This incident not only brought humiliation to this couple but also prevented them from seeking medical treatment abroad. They deserve justice and the least the DoJ Secretary can do for them is to observe impartiality,” Marcos asserted
Following a Senate investigation into the bullet planting incident, Marcos has called for the resignation of Manila International Airport (MIAA) General Manager Jose Angel Honrado for failing to stop the proliferation of the extortion racket in the airports.