The hottest story in the Philippines these days, seems to be the “laglag bala, or bullet in your bag” bullshit, which has been plaguing the Manila International Airport for some time now. Before I get into the main portion of this article. I would like to have you read a small comment I came across, just prior to this writing. While it may appear to be worded with concern. It actually reveals a lot of the narrow minded selfishness that can be found in many Filipinos. Especially their notion of keeping face. Its author is obviously more concerned with how the Philippines will appear on the world stage, during the upcoming APEC summit. Than he is at what’s happening to his own people. And what’s even more ridiculous, is his direct threat against those responsible for giving the nation a bigger black eye than she already does.
“This year we get this rare chance in a million to look good to the world because of the Apec meet where true to life world movers like Obama and Putin will lend their presence to make pinoys stand in awe that our place in the sun has really arrived in the world scene. Suddenly this concerted effort to totally ruin everything for us and the Pnoy administration who stand to benefit from the glare of the publicity. Something rotten has been cooked that if it were launched for partisan ends the price paid is to carve the very heart of the country and spill its guts like 100 million people are nothing but patsies and pawns for political agenda. An abomination has been committed on the future of the children of your children. The perpetrators will pay dearly because it is obvious that the ruin of the Philippines serves their purpose and your discernment as a people is far superior to their stealth.”
The bullet planting scam at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) has made it to a primetime show of the United States’ leading news channel.
The issue was tackled by Greta van Susteren, host of the Fox News program “On the Record,” last November 4 amid outrage in the Philippines over the extortion scheme that reportedly targets tourists and migrant workers.
In the segment “Off the Record,” Susteren said an American friend of Filipino descent had warned her of the scheme after being informed that the television host is travelling overseas next week.
The television commentator then cited reports about the supposed planting of bullets in the luggage of travelers to extort money from them.
“There are reports that at the Manila international airport, international travelers, as many as 30 in the last 12 months, five of those in just the last two weeks are being targeted by Filipino airport security officials who plant live ammunition in their luggage and then bust the international traveler for having bullets in his bag,” Susteren said.
She said some passengers were even held for days and were told that they can pay a fine “or sit in the slammer facing charges.”
“The airport bullet scam is so well-known it even has a name laglag bala,” Susteren said.
“Yes, I know what you’re thinking. What is wrong with some people? My answer: I just don’t know,” she added.
Susteren, a former criminal defense and civil trial lawyer who used to be a legal analyst of Fox News rival CNN, also wrote about the scam in her Facebook page.
Facebook users who replied to the post assured Susteren that nobody will be mad at her for talking about the scam. Some even encouraged the Fox News host to continue discussing the issue even if it is embarrassing to Filipinos.
The bullet planting scam made headlines as the Philippines is preparing to host the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit this month. At least 20 world leaders including US President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin have confirmed their attendance to the event.
President Benigno Aquino III has ordered an investigation of the scandal, which has been described by some supporters of the administration as an effort to discredit the government.
Transportation Secretary Joseph Abaya earlier claimed that the bullet planting issue has been “blown out or proportion,” saying only 1,510 people or 0.004 percent of the 32.4 million passengers who passed through the terminals of NAIA have been caught bringing bullets.
Aside from Fox News, foreign news organizations that have reported about the bullet scam include BBC, CNN and Time.
So what shall it be folks? More concerned how you appear to those foreign dignitaries popping in here next week? Or do you want to see true justice done, against those who are the real problem? Because if all you really give a shit about, is how you look? Then you should have thought about 30 years ago. When you started allowing yourselves to degenerate into the social nightmare you have become today. And if you think once again, shipping off a bunch of squatters to another resort in the south is going to hide that fact. Then you truly are dumber than you think.
So remember! Stop killing the messenger. And start reading – and learning – what the message is all about.