PANGASINAN (Mabuhay) – Presidential aspirant Mar Roxas on Tuesday condemned the alleged “tanim-bala” scam in the country’s airports but noted the investigation should also check if the modus is part of a scheme to discredit the administration.
Roxas, the standard bearer of the Liberal Party, said the people behind the extortion scheme should be stopped, unmasked and punished for their deplorable act.
He said authorities are already investigating the alleged scam.
“Itong laglag-bala ay walang lugar sa ating mga airport at sa iba pang seaport ng ating bansa. Sa daang matuwid hindi po ito gawain na katanggap-tanggap. Dapat lamang maimbestigahan ito at malaman kung sino ang nasa likod nito… Pagkaalam ko, inatasan na ng Pangulo ang Philippine National Police at National Bureau of Investigation para malaman kung sino ang mga sindikato at tao sa likod ng raket nito,” he said.
According to Roxas, the investigation should also check whether this issue is part of a scheme to discredit the present administration.
“I think sa lahat ng bagay ang katotohan ang dapat umiral. Malalaman natin ito, ito ba ay isang plot, malawakang pagsisira sa imahe ng pamahalaan, lalo na may APEC na parating? Ito ba ay paninira sa tourism program, kasi ang sinisiraan dito iyong paghahanap buhay? Para sa akin, kung ano man ito mahalaga na marating natin ang buong katotohanan. Raket ba ito ng mga nagbabantay sa X-ray machine o isang malawakang conspiracy ito?”
When asked what he would do against the scam if he were in charge, he said additional closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras should be installed inside and outside of the airport. There should also be a regular rotation of security personnel.
“Ang importante dito dapat magkaroon ng sapat na CCTV sa lahat nitong X-ray machine na ito para makita talaga ang lahat ng record… Itong bag na ito ay pumasok ba sa X-ray machine na andun na iyong contraband, whether it’s bala o anuman?” Roxas said.
“Mahalaga yung mai-video at mai-record yung pagbubukas ng mga maleta. Importante na yung pasahero ang magbubukas ng maleta,” he added.
In his visit to Pangasinan, Roxas’ first stop was at the Malimgas market in Dagupan City where he went around to greet and chat with some of the vendors and marketgoers.
He was accompanied by Reps. Gina de Venecia and Baby Arenas, Dagupan City Mayor Belen Fernandez, and other political leaders.
The move of visiting markets was seen by some as an attempt to revive his image as “Mr. Palengke,” which he used as his tagline when he ran for senator in 2004.
After his market visit, Roxas spoke before a group of tricycle operators and drivers for the TODA rescue program, which promotes partnership and cooperation among the local government unit, Philippine National Police, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, and over 1,000 tricycle operators and drivers.
The LP standard bearer is also scheduled to visit San Carlos City and Rosales for more meetings with multi-sectoral groups in the afternoon. (MNS)