The 75-year-old Salvacion Cortabista couldn’t believe she was arrested in the airport she had worked for many years.
The former telephone operator in the now-defunct Manila International Airport, and her husband, Esteban, 78, were banned from boarding their flight to California in April 19 after the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) screeners found a live bullet inside the couple’s handheld luggage.
Salvacion, who could barely walk because of her aching muscles, said she was humiliated as airport officers took her mug shots and fingerprints. Her daughter, Loida, said her mother’s blood pressure rose after the incident.
The Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) is preparing the couple’s counter-affidavit for the Department of Justice (DOJ) investigation. PAO chief Persida Rueda-Acosta said the case will most likely be dismiss due to lack of intent to possess.
Acosta also said they have a witness who was standing in line with Salvacion during the screening.
The Corbabistas denied owning the bullet as they are aware of the ban of bullet possessions in NAIA. They also said this is their second time in California for Salvacion’s osteoarthritis treatment.
The couple accused wheelchair attendant Niño Namba for demanding P50,000 in exchange for their release. They also stressed their luggage passed two X-ray inspections before security officers Ferdinand Morales and Fatti Dame Go discovered the bullet inside the unzipped shoulder bag.
The couple was released pending further investigation, but they will attend a hearing on their case set by the DOJ on May 3. Acosta said they will file complaints against the three airport employees as soon as they receive their witness’ sworn statement.
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Source ABS-CBN News