MANILA- Singer Jed Madela took to social media on Wednesday to express his disappointment over the stolen "pasalubong" items of some World Championships of Performing Arts Philippines (WCOPA) delegates.
The items, according to Madela, were stolen from the Ninoy Aquino International airport.
He said they found the locks of the pieces of luggage of some delegates broken and that many items were already missing.
"These kids barely have enough at tinabi nila pera nila para mabilhan nga pasalubong mga mahal nila sa buhay dito sa Pinas. Tapos nanakawin lang sa airport. Nakakahiya. I don’t know how these people can do such a heartless thing," Madela said in a tweet.
(These kids barely have enough and they saved their money so they can buy gifts for their loved ones here in the Philippines only to have those stolen. It's such a shame.)
"Ano kaya ang nasa isip ng mga magnanakaw na kumuha ng mga pasalubong ng mga delegates sa maleta nila? Gamit-gamit na kaya nila ngayon? Di kaya sila nako-konsensya?" he added in another tweet.
(What do those people who stole the gifts of our delegates had in mind? Are they using the stolen items already? Don't they have any conscience?)
The Philippine team took home 286 awards, including a category champion title, from the recently concluded WCOPA tilt held in Long Beach, California.
Eighty-seven Filipino delegates joined the annual competition, which has junior and senior divisions, spanning several categories, including dance, instruments, vocals, modeling, and acting.
Manila International Airport Authority General Manager Ed Monreal meanwhile reiterated that airline companies are responsible for the luggage of passengers and not airport personnel.
"Pag may nawawala pong bagahe, na-damage, dapat po makipag-ugnayan sila sa airline," he said.
"Hindi po kami (airport personnel) ang may hawak ng pagbababa, pagmomove ng mga bagahe," he added.
(When a luggage is missing or damaged, please talk with your airline. We (airport personnel) are not responsible for the offloading and movement of your baggage.)
Monreal said he has not received any information that the WCOPA delegates filed a complaint with their airline.
BAGS WERE OPENED IN THE US?
Monreal also lamented the practice of airing grievances on social media instead of properly filing a complaint with authorities.
"Pilipino lang ba ang magnanakaw sa mundo at bakit laging Pilipinas ang sinasabing ninakaw sa Pilipinas? I challenge them to put up evidence and we'll definitely crack down on them and we will definitely not let them go unpunished," he said.
(Are Filipinos the only thieves in the world for people to say that their belongings were stolen in the Philippines?)
He, however, said an investigation is already underway on whether the items really went missing or were stolen in NAIA.
Monreal noted that he saw photos on social media of the pieces of luggage and the broken locks which appear to have been "forced open," saying that it's likely the bags were opened in the United States.
He explained that it is a practice in the US to open locks of pieces of luggage even without the presence of the owner if the locks are not approved by the Transportation Security Administration.
-with a report from Jacque Manabat, ABS-CBN News