5 Security of OTS Removed from Post Over Extortion Incident at NAIA
Five security personnel of the Office for Transportation Security (OTS) were removed from service following an extortion incident at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
Aside from the dismissal, they were placed on preventative suspension after appearing in a viral video depicting an alleged extortion incident at the NAIA. On February 22, the victim, a Thai national, released a video on Facebook in which OTS staff were purportedly caught in the act at NAIA Terminal 2.
In the first video, two OTS personnel pocket an undefined item after passing through a security checkpoint. In the second video, a Thai national begs the Security Screening Officer (SSO) to repay the 20,000 (8,000) he was robbed of.
Following that, the OTS personnel can be seen in the video returning the money to the stated passenger while the SSO begs for the tape to be deleted. According to the OTS leadership, the screening officers engaged in the video have been identified, with four of them being job order workers employed last year and the other being contractual employee who has been working for five years.
“Nakakalungkot lang na our economy is opening up, while the president and the entire government machinery have been inviting tourists, investors to come to the Philippines, ito namang mga tauhan namin, sinisira naman ang ating reputation in the international community,” said OTS Administrator Ma.O Aplasca.
“We assure that the OTS management will really assure that in the OTS, we will really address the issue more aggressively and will find other strategies to solve the problem,” she added.
Based on the report, investigators are already working on the complaint that will be filed against them. They will not only be discharged from the service, but will also be imprisoned for their illegal deeds that have harmed the name and integrity of not only OTS, but the entire country,” stressed Aplasca.
As of July 2022, 14 OTS personnel had been dismissed from service, three others had been suspended, and six cases remained at the OTS Legal Service for investigation, including the “no tipping policy,” improper disposal of intercepted prohibited items, extortion, rude behavior, and cellphone use while on duty.
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