MANILA, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles, Manila Bureau) – You would hope that the extortion sheme ‘Laglag Bala’ at Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) is a thing of the past. Unfortunately, more incidents where unsuspecting passengers are questioned and detained for discovery of live bullets in their luggage — “planted” by scheming airport personnel — have surfaced.
In the interest of public service, The Adobo Chronicles is issuing these Ten Guidelines that local and international travelers passing through NAIA can consider in order to avoid being victimized by the extortion scheme. You’re welcome!
1. Make sure your check-in luggage is locked. If traveling to the U.S., choose a lock or luggage that is TSA-approved (which means the TSA can still open it for inspection using a master key).
2. If at all possible, don’t travel with a carry-on bag.
3. If you absolutely have to have a carry-on bag, choose one that does not have zippers and outside pockets.
4. If your carry-on bag is singled out for manual inspection, demand that YOU open the bag yourself.
5. If airport personnel insist that THEY open your bag, be ready to take a video of the proceedings with your smart phone.
6. Place a business card of your attorney on your luggage tag. Make sure the card uses BOLD fonts, especially the word “ATTORNEY.”
7. Avoid using designer carry-on bags. They invite interest among inspectors. Instead, use a bayong or some other cheap bags, perhaps even a re-usable grocery bag from Safeway.
8. Place one of the following inside your carry-on bag: durian, bagoong, daing na bangus, or kimchee. Any of these items will surely repel the inspector with the foul smell, eventually choosing not to inspect your bag.
9. Place an activated mouse-trap inside your carry-on bag. That will give the scheming inspector a painful lesson.
10. If all else fails, just enjoy the experience. Be thankful for an extended stay in the Philippines, with free board and lodging — inside the prison cell.
MANILA, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles) – The Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Manila can never seem to escape the headlines.
Just months after the laglag bala (drop a bullet) scheme was uncovered, a new scamis all but brewing. (Laglag bala was a scheme in which unsuspecting airline passengers were questioned and detained after airport personnel supposedly found live bullets in their bags and luggage — all for the purpose of extorting money).
The new scam is called laglag piso (drop the peso) and it involves what appears to be a collusion between airport security and taxi operators.
Foreigners arriving at NAIA are offered a taxi ride to their hotel or destination and are handed a rate card that quotes the fixed fare in U.S. dollars, instead of Philippine pesos. The dollar rates are not only illegal, but exhorbitant. What could be a fare of just a few hundred pesos can turn out to be thousands of pesos, in dollar equivalent.
When questioned about the newly-discovered scam, Manila International Airport Authority General Manager Joseph Angel Honrado said he has no control over the activities at the airport. “My role is merely to coordinate.”
It’s exactly what he said when questioned in the Philippine Senate about the laglag bala scheme.
Traveling to Manila? Drop the peso. Hang on to your U.S. dollar. It will go a long way. Away from your wallet, that is!
MANILA, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles ) – For the last three years, the Philippines’ Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Manila has been named the worst airport, a distinction that the Aquino administration prides itself about.
“We like being in the world’s top ten lists,” Aquino said previously.
But amid the embarrassing scheme at NAIA — where bullets are planted into bags of unsuspecting airline passengers allegedly for extortion purposes — Aquino called for the Philippines to be put back as the world’ worst airport.
Aquino ordered his Transportation and Tourism secretaries to work with the international body responsible in putting out the annual list to make this happen.
“I want this to be my biggest legacy as I prepare to step down from the presidency in 2016,” he said.