THE Office for Transportation Security (OTS) on Friday held the departure of several United States Marine troopers after they were found in possession of – but had failed to declare — 60 live ammunition and 17 pieces of ammo magazines at Terminal 3 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia).
The bullets and gun magazines images were clearly visible on the x-ray monitor, OTS personnel said.
During interrogation, the authorities found out that the hot items were inside one of the bags of a certain Marine Daniel Barlow, whose rank the OTS did not reveal following the request of US authorities.
The US Marines are participants in the just concluded Balikatan joint military exercises held in Zamboanga. They were leaving the Naia for Japan via Delta Airlines flight 180.
Airport sources said it appears that the Marines were flown by military planes to Manila from Zamboanga.
The OTS officials, who requested not to be named for lack of authority to do so, however, said there was a lack of coordination between the US liaison officer and the concerned agency of the government.
Recently, the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) concluded–following an audit–that the Manila International Airport Authority (Miaa) is lax in some security aspects and the TSA listed 16 recommendations that should be addressed.
The TSA has urged the Philippines to carry out “effective security consistent with the standards established by the International Civil Aviation Organization (Icao).”
The TSA later allowed the Marines to leave and board their flight after the necessary papers and documents for the bullets and magazines were presented by the US liaison personnel. (Business Mirror)