Press Release
February 27, 2023

Poe on NAIA extortion of Thai national: Nakakagalit, nakakahiya

Sen. Grace Poe called the extortion incident involving a Thai national at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) infuriating and embarrassing, as she urged other victims to come out and file complaints.

"Nung nakita ko iyong video na 'yun, talagang nakakagalit at nakakahiya," Poe said in an interview Monday.

"Isa na namang problema ito sa reputasyon ng NAIA at ng ating airports," she added.

Poe called on other victims of extortion or attempts by airport personnel to ask money, and those who have lost valuables in the process of baggage inspection and check-in to lodge formal complaints to determine the accountability of airport personnel.

Poe said the latest incident tarnished anew the already notorious reputation of NAIA and could discourage tourists from visiting the country.

"Iyong turista na nga ang pumunta rito, iyong Thai national, ganito pa ang karanasan. Kung sino ang security na dapat poprotekta sa atin, sila pa ang gumagawa ng kalokohan," she said.

Two months ago, she said one of her office staff lost a watch during baggage inspection.

"Ang ibang reklamo, pagdaan sa xray ng bagahe, paglabas, may nawawala na, parang may magician na now you see it, now you don't," she said.

The senator said aggrieved passengers should come forward and have their complaints documented. NAIA should also make available relevant CCTV footages to aid in the investigation of complaints, including the case of the Thai national.

"We need high-resolution CCTV footages, so we can see who are involved. We know that not every airport personnel is a scalawag, we need to distinguish the bad eggs from the good ones and exact accountability," Poe said.

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