The Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) has warned the personnel and officials of the Office for Transport Security (OTS) and Philippine National Police Aviation Security Group (PNP-AVSEGROUP) that if they do not stop filing criminal charges against victims of the “tanim-bala” at the NAIA passenger terminals, they would file counter-charges against them.

PAO chief Atty. Persida Acosta warned the OTS and PNP-AVSEGROUP on Monday during the preliminary investigation hearing on the charge against overseas Filipino worker (OFW) Gina Maliwat at the Department of Justice (DOJ), reminding them that mere possession of a single bullet does not constitute the crime of illegal possession of firearm.

“Pag hindi pa sila tumigil, mapipilitan na kami magsampa ng kaso at rumesbak… planting of evidence ang ikakaso. Nakakapagod na. Mga taga-PAO pagod na, mga prosecutor pagod na. Nakakatawa na ang bansa natin,” Acosta told reporters.

Acosta said that 32 cases against “tanim-bala” victims have already been dismissed by the DOJ.

In Gina Maliwat’s counter affidavit, she said that she passed the initial X-ray screening at NAIA Terminal II, but during the final screening she was informed that a bullet was found at the outer pocket of her shoulder bag.

Maliwat denied that she owns the bullet.

“I have no intention to possess or handle bullets. I don’t deal with bullets of guns, considering that I am a mere domestic helper whose dream/intent is to work abroad to help support my family financially.

Maliwat’s case was already submitted for resolution by Asst. State Prosecutor Clarisa Kuong. -John Esconde

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