MANILA - The family of Lane Michael White, an American missionary who allegedly fell victim to the tanim-bala scam, expressed joy over the criminal complaints the government filed against several airport officers tagged in the scandal.
Speaking to radio dzMM, White's Filipina stepmother, Eloisa said Friday: "Nagkaroon po ng linaw at nabuntan kami ng tinik. Talagang ang totoo, lalabas po talaga."
Eloisa said her stepson is still recovering from his September 17 ordeal, when a bullet was found inside his bag at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 4 (NAIA 4).
READ: Lawyer suspects cover-up in NBI 'tanim-bala' report
White is set to return to Florida after the hold departure against him is lifted.
The pregnant Eloisa, meanwhile, will stay in the Philippines with her husband to deliver her baby. The couple plans to continue their missionary efforts in the country after the birth of their son.
The Whites earlier claimed that airport officers allegedly tried to extort P30,000 for the non-filing of charges against Lane Michael.
'Your son's life will be ruined': Stepmom recounts extortion vs American tourist
The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on Thursday pressed charges in their behalf against Maria Elena Cena and Marvin Garcia of the Office for Transportation Security (OTS); and SPO2 Rolando A. Clarin, P/CINSP Adriano Junio, SPO4 Ramon Bernardo, and SPO2 Romy Navarro of the Philippine National Police-Aviation Security Group (PNP-AVSEGROUP).
Clarin, Junio, Bernardino, and Navarro face charges for Violations of Article V, Section 38 (Liability for Planting Evidence) of RA No. 10591 (Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act); robbery/extortion; and violations of RA No. 7438 and RA No. 3019.
NBI SUBMITS "TANIM-BALA" PROBE REPORT
The complaint was an offshoot of the report submitted by the NBI task force created by the DOJ to conduct the "tanim-bala" modus probe.
In a news conference on Thursday, Justice Undersecretary Emmanuel Caparas said that the NBI came up with the conclusion that the bullet-planting racket does exist at the NAIA perpetrated by corrupt airport officers.
However, the NBI report states that the investigation was unable to establish the "likelihood of an organized syndicate involving OTS, AVSEGROUP, and even [Manila International Airport Authority] officers."
Caparas said the NBI probe factored in not only recent reported "tanim-bala" cases at the NAIA but also reported bullet-planting cases in the past 5 years.
The NBI is poised to continue the investigation.
"This whole investigation is not over yet. Tuloy-tuloy pa ito. We (DOJ and NBI) have the same inclination to really find out how this particular incident came to be. We cannot say that the whole incident is done," Caparas said.
For now, the DOJ advises the public to make sure that airport officers do not come in contact with or handle their luggage since this provides the window of opportunity for bullet-planting.
The DOJ will soon publish a redacted version of the report, stressing that certain "raw information" are still being pursued and evaluated. -- With a report from Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News
EXCL: 4 layer ng extortion ng 'tanim-bala'