“Tanim-bala” extortion raps vs. NAIA employees, cops dismissed by DOJ

  • The DOJ junked the criminal charges against 2 airport employees and 4 aviation police officers
  • The Justice Department said there is insufficient evidence to hold the respondents criminally liable
  • The DOJ resolution was penned by Associate Prosecutor Atty. Honey Rose Delgado

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has junked the criminal complaints against two personnel of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and four aviation police officers in connection with the alleged “tanim-bala” extortion racket.

The DOJ found no probable cause to charge respondents Office of Transportation Security employees Maria Elma Cena and Marvin Garcia.

As mentioned in the ABS-CBN article by Ina Reformina, according to the resolution drafted by Associate Prosecution Attorney Honey Rose Delgado, the Justice Department said complainants Eloisa Zoleta and her stepson, American Missionary Lane Michael White, did not present sufficient evidence to show that the respondents could be held liable for robbery-extortion; violations of Republic Act No. 7438 (An Act Defining Certain Rights of Person Arrested, Detained or Under Custodial Investigation and Duties of the Arresting, Detaining and Investigating Officers) and Republic Act No. 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act).

The DOJ said there was also no sufficient evidence against respondents Senior Police Officer 2 (SPO2) Rolando A. Clarin, Chief Inspector Adriano Junio, SPO4 Ramon Bernardo, and SPO2 Romy Navarro, all of the Philippine National Police Aviation Security Group, who were accused of robbery/extortion, graft and violation of the law on the rights of detained persons.

White was apprehended at the NAIA Terminal 4 on September 17, 2015 after a live bullet was allegedly found inside his luggage. The missionary denied that the bullet supposedly found by Cena and Garcia was his.  He and his stepmother accused the pair of “planting” the bullet in his luggage in order to extort money from them.

The complainants claimed that the airport police officers, who were allegedly in cahoots with the two OTS personnel, asked them to shell out P30,000 in exchange for White’s release.

A Pasay City court junked the illegal possession of ammunition case filed against White on December last year.

 

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