OTS Chief: No syndicate in "Laglag Bala"
But he says a syndicate might be behind the 2.5 kilograms of cocaine that passed their screening.
(SPOT.ph) Office for Transportation Security (OTS) Chief Roland Recomono said in an interview with Bandila on November 10 that the 65 OTS personnel who were dismissed since 2012 were all acting on their own and were not part of a syndicate. However, he said that a syndicate may be behind the smuggling of 2.5 kilograms of cocaine that passed airport security at the Ninoy International Airport (NAIA) in September.
The OTS Chief said that he doesn't believe that the sacked workers are part of a syndicate to extort money from passengers. He also commented on the case of Lane Michael White, saying that the OTS personnel only followed the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards. He explained that White was turned over to the police as the OTS are only in charge or screening prohibited items.
When asked about the four Filipinas that were arrested in Hong Kong who were found in possession of 2.5 kilograms of cocaine that passed OTS screeners, Recomono said, “Eto po pwede nating sabihing sindikato...Kung s'ya po ay dumaan doon sa pag-screen, makikita po kasi s’ya, organic substance. Hindi po s'ya sasabihin kung drugs 'yon o kung ano pa s'ya. Kasi po, dapat intindihin nating kung ano po ‘yong nakikita dun sa X-ray."
According to Recomono, illegal substances like cocaine are not prohibited items. "Sa totoo lang, ang sinasabi ko nga, kung ang pagbabatayan natin ay 'yong ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization), hindi s'ya (cocaine) prohibited considering it will not endanger ‘yong eroplano," he said. "Marami po kasing hindi nakaka-intindi kung ano 'yun. Kung tingnan n’yo 'yong mandate namin, it is to detect prohibited items that will endanger the plane," he said. However, an infographic found at the OTS website states that X-ray machines in airports are “capable of detecting metal, explosives, drugs and other organic substances.”
When asked if he had shortcomings in being the OTS Chief, Recomono answered, “Hindi po.”