MANILA (Mabuhay) – Malacañang on Tuesday denied that President Benigno Aquino III was being insensitive when he indicated that the reports of alleged laglag bala extortion at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport were overblown by the media.
In a radio interview, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said Aquino merely wanted to put the issue in the proper perspective, pointing out that there was still an ongoing investigation on the alleged racket at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) terminals.
“Hindi rin naman po siguro makatuwirang sabihin na manhid o insensitive ang gobyerno. Ilalagay lang po sa tamang perspective,” said Coloma.
“Ginagawa naman ng pamahalaan iyong pagmamanman kung mayroong nagsasamantala. Patuloy pa nga ang iyong imbestigasyon. Humingi lang nang konti pang panahon ang Department of Justice,” he added.
Critics of the Aquino administration pounced on the President’s recent remarks wherein he dismissed as sensational the reports of extortionists preying on passengers caught with bullets in their luggage.
In an interview with reporters at the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit in Malaysia, Aquino said the controversy, which supposedly victimizes overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), appeared to have been sensationalized.
He said some groups even used the controversy against his administration.
“Medyo na-sensationalize at medyo may mga nakinabang na mag-sensationalize niyan. Okay, pero dulo nito, hindi tayo pwedeng dumaan sa haka-haka,” said the president.
Aquino said all allegations should be backed up with proof as he expressed sympathy towards innocent airport employees who have been affected by the controversy. (MNS)