MANILA - An elderly Filipino-American passenger who was caught with a box of bullets at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) has been released to his relatives.
According to Col. Reynaldo Garcia, head of the Philippine National Police Aviation Security Group, 79-year old Rufino Rondaris was ordered released by the Pasay City Prosecutor's Office pending review of the illegal possession of firearms charges filed against him.
Rondaris was arrested at the NAIA Terminal 2 last November 8 after arriving from Los Angeles. He was about to board his connecting flight to Laoag when an airport x-ray revealed a box containing 36 pieces of .25 caliber bullets inside his hand carried luggage.
Chief Superintendent Mao Aplasca, director of the PNP Aviation Security Group, ordered Garcia to coordinate with US Homeland Security to find out why they were not informed about the arrival of a passenger carrying bullets inside his bag.
"The Rondaris incident wherein no information was relayed to the Philippine airport authorities must be avoided to ensure the safety of all passengers," said Aplasca.
Airport General Manager Ed Monreal appealed to passengers to refrain from bringing ammunition or any prohibited items to avoid inconvenience of undergoing the process of interrogation and litigation.
"Please, I appeal to all our passengers to double check the contents of your luggage and not to leave their baggage unattended," said Monreal.