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Sen. Marcos: ‘We call our OFWs our modern heroes and this is what they get in return?’

The arrest of a 56-year old Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) on allegations of bringing a bullet at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) did not sit well with Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr.

In a press release, Sen. Marcos has deplored another incident of alleged “tanim bala” (bullet planting) at NAIA involving an OFW bound for Hong Kong.

Mrs. Gloria Ortinez was arrested and detained on Oct. 25 after airport authorities claimed that they found a bullet inside her hand carry bag at NAIA Terminal 2.

Below is the complete press release of Senator Marcos posted on the senate website:

Sen. Marcos deplores “tanim-bala” on OFW bound for HK

Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr. today deplored another incident of alleged “tanim bala” (bullet planting) last October 25 at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport involving an OFW (Overseas Filipino Worker) bound for Hong Kong.

Gloria Ortinez, 56, was arrested and detained after airport authorities claimed they found a bullet of carbine rifle in her hand carry bag at the NAIA Terminal 2, where she transferred from her connecting flight after arriving from the Laoag International Airport.

However, Ortinez denied that the bullet belongs to her. Having travelled in and out of HK where she worked as an OFW for 20 years, Ortinez said she is well aware that such item is strictly prohibited there.

“We have heard of similar incidents before on this modus operandi to extort money from hapless victims and we all thought that with the media attention and investigations conducted this won’t happen again. That is why this latest incident is disturbing to say the least,” Marcos said.

In response to her earlier plea for assistance the senator sent a member of his legal staff to look into the situation of Ortinez and provide assistance that she needs.

Marcos stressed that strict implementation of security protocols in our airports is necessary.

However, Marcos warned that authorities should take care against the hasty filing of criminal charges in similar instances when there are also indications the suspect may actually be a victim of a frame up.

“Because of the allegation against her, Mrs. Ortinez was not able to leave the country and she could lose her job. Worse, she now bears the additional burden of having to defend herself in court and the possibility of spending time in jail. This means she is still on the losing end even if she is eventually cleared of the charges against her,” Marcos said.

“We call our OFWs our modern heroes and this is what they get in return?” he added.

Marcos said he will await the report of his staff to find out if there is a need to call for a Senate investigation on the incident.

Source: senate.gov.ph