MANILA — Authorities on Tuesday held a security drill at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 2.
The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) and the Philippine National Police Aviation Security Group (PNP-ASG) simulated an attack in which 5 men entered the departure area and opened fire when questioned by authorities.
In the simulation, K9 personnel were shot by one of the suspects while a cohort detonated a bomb concealed inside his luggage. A simulated firefight broke out and neutralized all suspects. Medics treated those who were injured.
The Explosives and Ordnance Division then inspected the bags left by the perpetrators, while police later processed the crime scene.
The drill was followed by a critique session of officials who watched the exercise in a separate room at the head office.
Felipe Costuna, Jr. of the Anti-Terrorism Council, said the simulation should be done at least once a year.
The last security exercise was conducted in 2020.
“I would like to suggest that we do this often next time, I think yung 3 years is quite a long time because necessarily kailangan yung mga players should be familiarized with our protocols. It should be embedded already in their system, dapat alam na nila ano gagawin without being able to do so,” Costuna said.
The official questioned the response time and noted that many people could have died if the gunfight were real. He said an assessment should be done next time to determine what scenario is likely to happen.
P/Capt. Martin Garganera of the Metro Manila police's Explosive Canine Unit said that the area should have been swept by the bomb squad before SOCO looked into the crime scene.
He also suggested a post-blast investigation to identify the bombs used to prevent attacks by a similar group.
Other officials also suggested conducting daily security preparedness exercises. K9 units inside the airport should also be more proactive, have a partner, and have a radio for communication, the observers said.
A representative from Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines said the next simulation activities should be discreet to test how security personnel would react.
But Manny Gonzales, the Assistant General Manager for Security and Emergency Services of MIAA, said this could cause confusion and panic, and might disrupt airport operations.
The simulated attack is unlikely to happen for now because they have cameras installed all over the airport, Gonzales. There are also roving personnel and a Special Operations Unit in the area, he said.
The exercise did not disrupt NAIA Terminal 2 operations.