DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 4 Nov) – Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte lashed at the administration of President Benigno S. Aquino III by calling it “inutile” for failing to protect its people.
Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte criticizes the Aquino administration over the “laglag-bala” scam at the NAIA. It was the first time that Duterte openly criticized the Aquino administration. MindaNews photo by Toto Lozano
Duterte told reporters covering the release of two captives of the New People’s Army in Compostela Valley (Comval) on Tuesday afternoon that the President should personally handle the case of the “laglag bala” extortion scheme victimizing passengers by planting bullets in baggage for money at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
“I am accusing the Philippine government for its failure to protect its people,” he said. The mayor was irked by lack of actions taken by the Aquino administration in dealing with the new extortion scheme at the airport allegedly involving some policemen and airport authorities.
“Di nako na kaya, dili gyud ko gusto og daog-daog. Moinit gyud ko ana (I cannot fathom this anymore, I hate seeing anyone being oppressed. That irks me),” he said.
For the longest time that Aquino sits as president, Duterte said he never asked for help from him, not even for a single project, for the support that he has given.
“It’s about time that I would ask you to pay for the support that I gave you. Give the people your protection,” he said. “I demand ikaw mangunay ani kay daghan tao na priso nga dili nila krimen. (I demand that you personally resolve the issue because there are so many people who are jailed for the crimes they did not commit).”
In his television program “Gikan sa Masa, Para sa Masa” on Sunday, Duterte warned the police that he will let them swallow bullets if he finds out that they are in cahoots with the syndicate allegedly behind the extortion scheme.
He added that it is unbelievable for a passenger to bring one bullet without any firearm at the airport.
The incident involving Engr. Augusto Dagan Y. Dorde, 60, of JV Angeles Construction Corp., earned the ire of Duterte, believing that the “laglag bala” scheme had already made its way at the F. Bangoy International Airport.
Dorde was accosted at the initial screening checkpoint when two live ammunitions were discovered in his baggage. He was briefly detained at the Sasa Police Station but he was released immediately after he posted bail.
Duterte said he already had his doubts about the case the bullets, noting that it’s been going on for the past two or three years. He added that many have been caught, but then only to be released apparently after the victims give in to the extortion scheme.
“Davao prosecutors, you better study the matter very carefully,” he warned.
He said it could be that a syndicate is behind the extortion scheme between the airport’s employees and the police.
The mayor added if ever he changes his mind and run for president it’s because of the sad state of the Filipino people, although it has to be his decision and not the PDP-Laban’s even after he was named as substitute candidate to Martin Diño, who withdrew his presidential bid last October 29.
“I will try to be a Filipino,” he said. “If I show up in Comelec Manila on December 10, 2015, I will file my certificate of candidacy,” he said.