MANILA - Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo has filed a measure to decriminalize the mere possession of not more than three bullets.
The Liberal Party's vice-presidential candidate, in a press statement Tuesday, said House Bill 6245 aims to put an end to the "tanim-bala" modus operandi and safeguard passengers in NAIA from harassment and extortion.
"Let's stop this scam and ensure the safety and well being the passengers in NAIA," Robredo said.
She made the move after a number of passengers have been arrested in the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) for possession of bullets in their luggage.
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Those arrested were not allowed to board their flights, thus, preventing them from reaching their destination. The arrests are allegedly part of a scheme done by unscrupulous airport staff to extort money from passengers in the airport.
"This scam has affected a number of our countrymen and foreigners who were on their way to another country or to other places in the Philippines," Robredo said.
She added that aside from extortion, the "tanim-bala" scam also abridges Filipinos' constitutionally guaranteed right to freely travel. She said it also damages the reputation of the Philippines since several of the victims have been foreign tourists who were in the country for their vacation.
"Further occurrences of the tanim-bala scam will severely hamper our efforts to bolster tourism since NAIA is the gateway to the country," Robredo said.
A counterpart measure in the Senate has been filed by Sen. Bam Aquino.