Duterte says no more opening of bags in airports

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Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte said bags of travelers will no longer be opened during airport screening & "human contact" would be minimized on Thursday.

"Alam mo kung merong improvement diyan sa public service sa airports, one is that no more inspection sa bagahe papasok," he said in a speech during celebration of  the 85th anniversary of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

[Translation: Do You know if there is an improvement in public service in the airport in Philippines, one is that there will be no more inspection for bags that come in.]

Then he made a joke about how bringing in contraband like dynamite, bullets, and marijuana would be okay, but members of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and  the police would be waiting for them outside the Philippine airport.

"Gusto ko lang na [I just prefer] no more opening of the bags," Duterte explained.

He also said that there won't be no more human contact in airport immigration.

 

"All have to do is... Just swipe your passport and you can go out. No more questions in immigation. At yung pagbalik palabas, I am requiring them altogether to adopt the same system. Paglabas ninyo, swipe lang ninyo. No more human questions," he said.

He gave no points of interest on when and how such convention would be upheld. Air terminal and government security authorities presently can't seem to comment on what he said. 

The President said that in his years in public office, he has seen how poor abroad Filipino specialists (OFW) would be dealt with. He reviewed one case where he saw an OFW who landed from Hong Kong with a little TV being charged an expense the worker couldn't afford. 

Duterte said he  nearly got into a battle with the airplane terminal work force over the manner in which the OFW was treated. 

"That is the reason you can see my reaction every time. Ayaw ko kasi ng api-api. Whether rich or poor, I just don't want oppression. Kaya yang oppression, hindi ko kayang tanggapin yan, lalo na in my presence. Ayaw ko. Walang rason, ayaw ko lang," he said.

[Translation: That is why you can see my reaction every time. I don't like people being oppressed. Whether rich or poor, I just don't want oppression. I can't accept that, especially in my presence. I don't like it. No reason, I just don't like it.]

In February, in a bid to resolve "tanim-bala" incidents in the country, labor, transportation, justice, and local government officials signed an agreement to improve airport security screening and form guidelines on the investigation and speedy resolution of the issue.

"Tanim-bala" refers to a scam by deceitful airport workers to plant bullets in the bags of passengers amid inspection to be able to extort money from them.

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