The Senate and the House of Representatives are open to amending the law regulating the possession of firearms and ammunition to help stop the bullet-planting extortion scheme in the country’s international airport.
Pending bills in both the House and the Senate seek to decriminalize the possession of not more than three bullets.
Under the present law, Republic Act 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act, the mere possession of a single bullet could lead to a prison term of six to 12 years.
The bullet-planting scheme or “laglag-bala” involves furtively inserting bullets in the baggage of unsuspecting airline passengers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA). When a passenger is accused by corrupt airport personnel of illegally possessing ammunition, he or she is asked to shell out money to avoid arrest.
Davao City Representative Karlo Alexei Nograles said the “NAIA has become the biggest source of embarrassment for this administration, not only here in the Philippines but in the entire world” because of this bullet-planting scheme.
Nograles, who is the vice president for internal affairs of the National Unity Party (NUP) said "a top-to-bottom revamp [at the NAIA] is now necessary even just to prove that the government is taking this issue very seriously."