MANILA, April 25, 2016— A Catholic bishop chided the government for failure to stop the “tanim-bala” scandal, following a recent case involving an elderly couple.
Bishop Ruperto Santos of Balanga said as the scam continues, it reveals the lack of compassion and concern for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) or for those who visit their homeland.
“We urge the airport authorities, and the government, to put an end to this ‘tanim-bala’ scandal once and for all,” said Santos, who chairs the bishops’ Commission for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People.
Respected not robbed
“As government officials, their calling is to serve and to protect, so our Balikbayan and OF’s should be helped not being harassed; be served and not being robbed; and respected,” he said.
Police investigation has been ongoing on the alleged attempt by an airport worker to extort Php50,000 from couple Esteban and Salvacion Cortabista.
The two were barred from boarding a US-bound flight on April 19 after a live bullet for a .38 caliber pistol was found in one of their bags at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
The prelate said the OFWs and travelling Filipinos should not have to experience the anxiety and fear the scam inspires.
“…As this ‘tanim-bala’ operation continues under their watch, their lack of compassion and concern for our fellow Filipinos who work abroad or who visit their homeland are revealed,” he said.
“Identify, arrest, prosecute, convict, and punish all those responsible for this, so we can bring stability to our travel systems and restore the trust and confidence of our OFWs and all Filipinos traveling from or to their own country,” said Santos. (CBCPNews)