Duterte to airport chiefs: ‘Just one more baggage theft, and you are fired!’

baggage theft
President Duterte, flanked by screenshots from the recent viral Facebook video that sparked his anger

President Duterte has threatened to fire the nation’s top airport officials if just one more incident of baggage theft comes to light.

Speaking at the launch of a new Overseas Filipino Bank in Manila, the president said he had summoned Manila and Clark airport managers and security officials after hearing about a recent theft.


As we reported last week, six ground crew at Clark Airport were suspended after items worth 84,000 pesos were taken in an alleged baggage theft.

Jovenil Dela Cruz of Bulacan had returned home from his job in Canada when he discovered his bags had been tampered with.

He then filmed a Facebook video to express his frustration, which soon went viral.


At the bank launch yesterday (Thursday, December 18), the president said: “Before I came here, I called for the managers — Transportation Secretary Art Tugade was there, and those from Clark and NAIA and the police.

“I told the managers, in front of Tugade, I said, ‘One more incident and all of you will go. Look for another job. Be sure no more zippers are opened’.

“This is an offshoot of what happened maybe the other day. The baggage was delayed. When it finally arrived, the zippers were opened.

“Just like the old happy days in NAIA,” he added to laughter.

The president went on to remind all government officials to “take care of the ordinary human being”.

“I will not belabour the point. Whatever is in my heart or in my… the grey matter between the ears… don’t ask me about that — but I’m saying take care of the ordinary human being,” he said.

“I am not politicking. It was the man on the street who swept me to victory.”