Airport workers reminded to not open the bags of passengers

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Airport workers have been reminded that they should not open the bags of passengers following a series of theft allegations.

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Department of Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade issued the reminder, following an incident involving a Korean couple who claimed that some of their went missing at the Clark International Airport last week.

“I reiterate, no opening of baggage of OFWs (overseas Filipino workers) and tourists. President Duterte does not tolerate corruption. Avoid any actions or moves that might be perceived as corrupt,” Tugade said in a statement on Wednesday (February 21).

For its part, the Office of Transportation Security denied the allegation and said the viral post on social media was “false and inaccurate”.

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“After review of the airport’s CCTV footage of the event, it was revealed that two Korean nationals, a male and a female, were rushing towards the escalator, while a female OTS Security Screening Officer can be seen picking an item that appeared to be left behind at the X-ray conveyor belt.

“The latter subsequently held the item in the air in an apparent attempt to call the attention of its owner. The male Korean passenger eventually claimed the item from the screening officer,” the OTS said.

The CCTV footage by the Clark International Airport Corporation likewise showed that there was no indication of misconduct, ill-intent, or malice on the part of the Security Screening Officer.

OTS Administrator Arturo Evangelista stressed that the security of the riding public is the agency’s priority concern and urged the public not to make hasty conclusions on such incidents.

The Bureau of Customs has also denied the extortion claims of the female Korean passenger. However, six member of the airport’s ground crew remain suspended after a returning OFW claimed he was a victim of theft in another viral video.

Last January, Tugade summoned airport officials, airport ground handling companies, manpower service providers, and security managers following a meeting with President Duterte.

The transportation chief bared new guidelines for baggage handlers: personnel uniforms must not have pockets, boots or shoes must not be loose, concerned personnel are no longer allowed to bring or use cell phones while on duty, and are not likewise allowed to wear jewellery.

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