MANILA — Sen. Grace Poe said airport and immigration personnel found liable for the human smuggling incident at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) should face the consequences of their wrongdoings.
“It’s nothing personal to the officers concerned. We are doing this to also protect the institution that you are supposed to be protecting,” Poe said on Monday’s hearing of the Senate blue ribbon committee on the human smuggling incident at the NAIA involving foreign nationals.
“If nobody’s liable here, kung hindi kayo makakasuhan, mas lalong lalakas ang loob ng iba na gumawa ng mga bagay na hindi nyo dapat gawin.’ she said.
Poe in an earlier privilege speech said a chartered plane left NAIA for Dubai on February 13 without a pre-flight inspection from the Philippine National Police and carrying passengers who were not on the manifest.
On her questioning at Monday’s hearing, it was revealed that an immigration officer involved in the incident was relieved from his new post in the BI’s regional intelligence office pending investigation.
Poe said the actions of the concerned officers showed clear violations of the protocols and will not set a good precedent if they remained unacted.
“We expect decisive and correct actions from our airport and immigration chiefs on this matter to show respect for the institutions and to tell the public that irregularities will not go unpunished,” she said.
Poe also said she expects an update on the installation of CCTVs in the airport’s premises, including the area where private chartered flights take off.
Airport authorities said the CCTVs outside the area were not working because they were designed to be solar-powered.
“Going green is important, but the CCTVs have to be operational and effective as well,” Poe said.