Manila airport has ageing CCTV cameras

MIAA must allot funds for closed circuit TV improvement: lawmaker

Passengers form long queues to the immigration counters at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 on Thursday morning. Some passengers missed their flights as the whole check-in process took hours due to the shortage of manpower from the Bureau of Immigration. (MNS Photo)

Passengers form long queues to the immigration counters at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 on Thursday morning. Some passengers missed their flights as the whole check-in process took hours due to the shortage of manpower from the Bureau of Immigration. (MNS Photo)

MANILA (Mabuhay) – A lawmaker on Tuesday called on the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) to upgrade its 20-year-old closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras to curb incidences of extortion such as the laglag-bala scandal.

Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, who’s running for vice president in 2016, criticized the MIAA for repeated failed biddings for CCTV cameras since 2014, during a press briefing at a restaurant inside the Quezon Memorial Circle.

He also repeatedly mentioned the security of Davao City’s airport, saying the CCTV videos in the airport were directly fed to the city hall for monitoring.

Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte was courted by Cayetano in the past to run as his running mate and president in the 2016 presidential elections.

Cayetano and Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption chairman Jimenez filed a joint complaint Tuesday morning over the alleged laglag-bala extortion scheme, citing neglect of duty under the doctrine of “command responsibility” or Executive Order 226, series of 1995.

“If you won’t resign and you won’t do your work, expect administrative (actions),” Cayetano said.

OFW advocate and senator candidate Susan Ople clarified that the move was not made out of political partisanship but a fight for the psychological welfare of OFWs.

“They should not look at this issue and see partisanship in any shape or form. They should look at this issue and say how do we resolve it para ‘yung trust ng OFW sa government can be restored,” Ople said.

“Hindi pwedeng sabihin na isolated ito dahil may climate of fear na,” Ople said.

Among the respondents in the complaint are Transportation and Communications Secretary Jose Emilio Abaya and MIAA General Manager Jose Angel Honrado.

Cayetano and senators Grace Poe, Miriam Defensor Santiago, and Ralph Recto have filed separate resolutions at the Senate to investigate the “laglag-bala” scheme.

President Benigno Aquino III ordered the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) to probe the allegations.

Despite this, Jimenez called for the resignation of President Benigno Aquino III, saying he “lost the moral ascendency to lead the bureaucracy.”

He also called for Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno to replace the president, whom he labeled as as a “lame duck.”

“Huwag kayong ma-praning, huwag kayong matakot… Baka maging criminal na ito,” Jimenez addressed OFWs.

At least 40 members of the Office of Transportation Security (OTS) were also put under investigation for the scheme. (MNS)

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