Overseas Filipinos demand end to 'laglag bala' scam
MANILA, Philippines - Oversease Filipinos have spearheaded an online petition demanding an end to the "laglag bala" scam in the country's main international airport.
On Tuesday, October 27, Ednalyn Purugganan, a Filipino living in Hong Kong started a petition on Change.org calling on Senators Grace Poe and Miriam Santiago to investigate and end the 'laglag bala' extortion scam at the NAIA. (READ: How to curb 'laglag-bala' modus and airport extortion)
"Nagpapakahirap po kaming mag trabaho dito at pangalagaan ang pangalan namin at ang pagiging Filipino namin, para lang sirain ng mga taong walang magawa sa buhay," read the petition's open letter to the two senators.
("We work hard at our jobs here and take care of our good names and of our Filipino identity, only for all these to be destroyed by other people who have nothing better to do.")
To date, the Change.org petition has more than 6,780 supporters.
"Laglag bala" refers to a scam involving airport security officials who plant bullets into the luggage of unsuspecting passengers. The security officials later apprehend the passengers and try to extort money in exchange for freedom. (READ: Isang bala ka lang: Netizens decry 'laglag-bala' incident)
When asked why they signed the online petition, many decried the injustice that was done to fellow overseas Filipino workers.
"Di na maganda nangyayari sa pinas pabulok na ng pabulok sistema dpt d lang kulong parusa sa mahuhuling gumagawa ng ganyang modus. Dagdagan ang parusa," said Raymund Gesalta.
(It's not good what is happening in the Philippines, the system is rotten. Imprisonment should not just be the punishment for those engaging in this kind of activity, they should increase the punishment.)
Teresa Ramodo Brosas, from Hong Kong, said, "I want them to stop this laglag bala syndicate in that particular airport, I am filipino and so embarrased of what they are doing."
Purugganan also spoke of the fears of many Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) who plan on returning to the country for the holiday season.
"Nag babalak po kaming umuwi ngayong Desyembre, pero sa nangyari kay nanay Gloria Ortinez na kapwa naming Domestic Helper dito, parang nakakatakot na po talaga kaming umuwi ng Pilipinas,dahil andon yong takot na baka mangyari lang din sa amin ang nangyari kay nanay."
(We plan to return home this December, but because of what happened to Gloria Ortinez, our fellow Domestic Helper, we fear returning home to the Philippines, because of the fear that what happened to her could also happen to us.)
"Di po namin pinaghihirapang alagaan ang pangalan namin para lang sirain ng mga gahaman sa isang iglap lang," wrote Purungganan.
(We do not take pains to take care of our good name only for it to be destroyed by nefarious elements in a blink). - Rappler.com
If you feel strongly against the laglag bala scam, you can sign the petition here.