The Laglag Bala or bullet scam incident recently gained international attention from BBC News and The Sydney Morning Herald, both news media are well known in the whole world.

Early this week BBC News covered the story that is currently defaming the image of the Philippines.



Laglag Bala or Bullet scam started last month when an American tourist and a departing OFW were held from boarding their flights because of a bullet that was found inside their luggage.

Naia T3
Image source: Wikipedia

Shockingly this modus operandi persisted for the past 20 years. The laglag-bala or bullet scam is a scheme conducted by corrupt airport employees. They secretly put a bullet inside the luggage of unsuspecting passengers and then later extort money from the unlucky victims. Most of the time the victims would end up paying the scammers to avoid missing their flights.

.22 bullet
Image source:

Malacanang have already ordered an intensive investigation of the matter and two NAIA employees were already fired from their job.

The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) spokesperson, Eric Apolonio advises passengers to never lose sight of their luggage and that all of their pouches and zippers were firmly locked.

Solution on laglag bala

It is no secret that the bullet scam is a setback from the much acclaimed tourist campaign of “It’s more fun in the Philippines”.



  1. THIS PROBLEM is with the AQUINO ADMIN ISTRATION ONLY…past administration did not have this problem…in the US if they caught you with bullets they take them cancel your flight. you can re-book your flight. ONLY in the Philippines that they consider A 1 or 2 BULLET A DEADLY WEAPON.. .WITHOUT A GUN.. FIND THE GUN FIRST…as long as there is penalty on this. THE SCAMP WILL CONTINUE.. you destroy a lot of people life already… IS THIS A PART OF DAAN NA MATUWID?

    • “Shockingly this modus operandi persisted for the past 20 years.”

      Last time I checked 6yrs lang ang presidente. Basa rin pag may time. Parang nagmana ka sa blame game sa sinisisi mo.

    • Wala kasi kayong magawa kundi isisi ang lahat sa kung sino ang pangulo E di pahiya ka ngayon sa mga nagreply sayo.

      • I will go for Kamay na Bakal. Kabobong Presidente. Walang pakelam sa mga nangyayare. wala kasing malasakit sa nasasakupan. Kaya kahit ginagago na wala pa ding pakelam. Kundi pa kakalat sa social media at sa abroad ay di makekelam, Tama, sa lahat ng sinabi nya, ubo lang ang tutoo

    • The way I see this happening is that : The corrupt people who aims for a higher office are doing this embarrassing Lag-lag Bala scam to put some stains against the Daang Matuwid Campaign. These TRAPO, corrupt, ambitious candidates will do whatever it takes to miss lead people and get their sympathy in favor to them so they can keep stealing from the Filipino People. Enough is Enough. Continue the Daan Matuwid or otherwise Ill go for the Kamay na Bakal.

    • Wait, really? The problem is the law about 1 bullet being a crime? Not the shady people scamming others? Not the culture caring so much about looking bad the first instinct is to deny it’s a problem? Not the fact that people pay instead of standing up for their rights? Change the law to say 1 bullet isn’t such a big deal and this will continue in some other form. Not until there is cultural change will there be real change.

      • “Not the fact that people pay instead of standing up for their rights? ”
        – The american missionary (22 years old) was scammed. They demanded P30,000 ($700) to make it “go away”. He refused cause he was innocent and actually had morals. He said, “they can lie, but they cannot lie to god”. His thinking was they would realize the nonsense of the issue, review video footage, realize he came from the USA and was already pre-screened, think he could just buy a bullet for .30 cents on the street if he really wanted one, and he would be set free.
        He thought wrong. He did not realize what an awful culture the Philippines has. Well, they put him in jail for 7 days and he later had to pay a P40,000 bail. And this was a missionary going to the “most catholic country in asia”. LOL, such a sham.

        • But he didn’t pay. That’s the point. He didn’t REWARD these scammers. And here we are, people that have never met him talking about him. THAT is the power of saying NO to corruption.

          • No, he rewarded a different group of Scammer/ Filipinos. He had to pay a bail and now he’s stuck in the retarded system Filipinos call their court. It’s been 4 months now and this case could be solved by anyone with half a brain in 5 minutes.
            #1. No motive to bring in a single .22 bullet

            #2. No methods to bring it in.Unless he landed in Manila and went on a desperate search of a single bullet to bring with him. That is highly unlikely.
            #3. No past criminal history

            #4. Made it all the way across the world without issue at better equipped, better staffed, more intelligently staffed airport yet he gets caught in the Philippines (worlds worst airport)

            #5. Continued precedence of this type of scam being used on other victims. That is the biggest giveaway right there. The prosecution has no case due to the corrupt nature of the airport security personnel and their scamming nature.

            There, it took me less than 5 minutes to solve it. So why does it take Filipinos to long to solve it? Why does it take Filipinos so long to do anything simple.

            So, he stood up to corruption in YOUR country! Where are Filipinos to stand up? Why are no Filipinos rallying for him other than his stepmom? Why are no Filipinos rallying to put an end to the obvious, rampant scam? Laziness? So it takes americans to free Filipinos from corruption?
            Well, since he’s come to the FAIL-ippines, he’s lost 3-5 months of his life. He posted bail at P40,000, yet he could have easily earned 8 times that much if was home working, not to mention the lawyer expenses, costs of staying in Manila, and the mental trauma of having to deal with Filipinos. Thats the worst of all.

          • “YOUR country” — dude which part of marcwomack sounds Filipino to you? I’m from the US. Been living here 10 years. The ONLY reason this has slowed down, the ONLY reason this got exposure AT ALL was b/c this guy stood up. As to your question of why it took a foreigner to do that, EXACTLY my point, read my first comments.

          • *THEIR
            I’m in complete agreement with you. I just wish this evil society called the PHilippines would just admit they are a corrupt S41th0l3, and let the rest of the world know to just write them off. Instead, they attract foreigners like a venus fly trap, then do not let go. I feel really bad for this kid.
            Stood up is what he did. I hate to say, but he is going to wish he didn’t if he hasn’t already. It’s going to cost him so much time and money cause we know how greedy these great catholics can be.
            He is not going to ignite any fire under these lazy, pinoy pride morons. I’m angered they caught an American in their scam and I’m even more angered the judicial system is screwing with him so much. He drew some attention to it, but the scam continued on for months and its not like anyone has actually been caught, audited, investigated. The only person under a ton of scrutiny is the innocent victim.
            I definitely commend the kid. The next time I’m heading to Manila, I’d love to visit him, thank him for showing the world (of who is actually paying attention) what a corrupt society these idiots are running, and buy him a beer/ lunch.

  2. They just fired two employees instead of having answer to their crime. Dapat kasuhan un mga bugok na corrupt government employees.

  3. WALANG PAG-ASA ANG PILIPINAS! Noong 1970’s up to early 80’s isa tayo sa TOP Southeast Asian Nations. Noong umupo nanay ni Panot nagsimula na tayong nalugmok sa corruption at kahirapan…bumaba kalidada ng edukasyon at lahat ng government services! Bilang ordinaryong mamamayan ng Pilipinas WALA naman kaming reklamo sa gobyerno. Kung hindi ka kriminal, masaya at masagana ang buhay mo! Ang mga umaangal lang naman ay yun mga oposisyon sa pulitika at mga kawatan. Mas maganda buhay ng ordinaryong Pilipino noon kaysa ngayon! IBALIK ANG KAMAY NA BAKAL! IBALIK ANG DEATH PENALTY! MALAALA pa sa SODOM at GOMORRAH ang PILIPINAS NGAYON!

    How ironic na ipinangalan ang airport na ito na pugad ng corruption sa tatay nya! This is the Aquinos’ legacy!

    • Sorry to say this gaano siguro kagaling ang mamono ng bansang Pilipinas kung ang mga Pilipino mismo walang desiplina sa sarili at respeto sa sarili at sa kapwa tao walang mangyari.(thou not all). Crab mintality, greed,immorality,etc..ay laganap kahit saan. Lord have mercy to our nation. Our blessed hope is in you.

      • Disciplinado and ang mga Filipino sa panahon ni Marcos. 1960s ang Pilipinas ay ikawalang malaking economiya sa Asia. Fast forward 2010s after limang presidente, ano na tayo? naging tae na ang pilipinas, malayo narating, naghihirap na ang mga filipino. We’ve been overtaken by South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei… soon to overtake us will be Myanmar if we still continue the current status quo..

    • Magulo kasi ang utak ng masang Pilipino ! Di maintidihan kung ano talaga ang gusto.

      Gusto ng demokrasya pero ginawang bayani si Ninoy na isang komunista ! 🙁
      Gusto ng demokrasya ayaw padisiplina kaya inalis si Marcos.. ngayong may demokrasya naghahanap naman ng disiplina ! 🙁

      Ayaw sa Amerikano dahil daw nakikialam sa Pilipinas kaya pinaalis sial dito. Ngayong may sigalot sa West Philippines sea gusto namang makialam ang Amerikano ! 🙁

      Yan ang dahilan kung bakit tayo magulo, angmasa mismo di alam kung ano ang gusto ! 🙁

      • totoo iyang sinasabi mo nuong panahon ni Marcos kasi hindi sila maka angal sa dahil mahigpit si marcos at disiplinado kaya nga ng sinabi ni Benigno Aquino na he will be the next President ng dumating sia pabalik sa pinas maaring mga alipores nia ang gumawa para maalis si marcos Hayun at naging Presidente yung asawa nia na walang alam sa Pagtakbo ng economia ng Bansa nagkaroon nga ng Demokrasya ginamit ang mga taong pilipino pati simbahan nag rally , mga ilang taon naman pina tanggal ang american force sa subic tapos ngayon nag hihingi na tulong sa america. Paano nga namn yung mga taong against kay marcos hindi kasi nila magawa yung gusto nilang gawin ngayong wala na si Marcos hayun naging corrupt na ang Pinas kaya ang china na gawa tuloy na kuhanin ang ating spratly island malakas ang loob dahil wala ng magtatanggol sa Pinas na US force kaya nga sinabi ng China na wala raw na karapatan ang US sa Pinas dahil wala na raw relationship ang pinas sa US

  4. Different countries should warn their citizens travelling to the Philippines that “It is more fun in the Philippines” is replaced with “It’s more dangerous in the Philippines.”

    • Yeah, there is actually a newscast in Japan warning their citizens of it. Greta on Fox News USA called the Philippines the lamest country of the day cause someone she knows got caught up in the scam.
      It’s making international news what a corrupt dump the Philippines is. I guess some morons in the world didn’t already know it.

  5. Instead of going to the Philippines and face barrage of problems, red tape, corruption and a high crime rate, I’ll just tell my friends and loved ones to visit Malaysia, Brunei or Bali, Indonesia. Philippines is a combination of a worst vacation place! On my first vacation, I was robbed 3 times! My wife was bitten by a dog in Palawan, and my phone was stolen in Boracay! My second vacation was a lot worst! We were stuck in Zamboanga while a war between some police troops and rebels was ongoing! They say Filos are very hospitable?! You are dead wrong! They are only hospitable when they can rip your cash off, or they need something from you! During the time I was robbed, we reported it asap to a cop station, but instead they maliciously looked at my wife and asked me a grand to help their services out! What a joke! When we heard of typhoon Haiyan, my wife asked me if we could donate some cash. Without hesitation, I said NO coz I already know where that money will go! – I am not speaking only for me and my wife, but to all foreigners out there planning to go there! Please, stay away unless you wanna have a vacation to hell!

    • Agreed. Why did you go there 3 times? Business?
      You can go to Thailand for a cheaper price, feel safer, eat better food, have a better time, and not encounter such blatant scamming. Even Cambodia and Vietnam have gotten their sh#$ together and become much better than the english-speaking, pro-western Philippines.
      Unfortunately, I’m part Filipino and have to return to that awful country every so often. It is a “me-first” culture that is rotten to the core. It is a dirty, corrupt, cesspool of scammers who all consider themselves god-fearing, “great catholics”.
      The positives:
      1. It is cheap. Haircut = <$1. Beer = <$1. OK Food = <$4. Transportation = very cheap (if the taxi drivers aren't ripping you off and you're not stuck in the worlds worst traffic)
      2. Women, If you are an old dude (or just a pervert) and want to bang a bunch of young chics, then you would be in heaven. Young, desperate women are plentiful and there is a never-ending supply of them.
      3. The have some really nice beaches, That is, if the Filipinos have not F'd them up. For some reason, Filipinos love to thrown cig butts and plastic everywhere whether its the city or the most pristine beach. The "proud leaders" of the community seem to never notice cause trash never gets cleaned up no matter how much they claim "against climate change" or "a haven for tourists".
      4. Filipinos can speak english to an extent. So, you will never truly feel lost cause you can always find someone who can understand or speak it nearby. Filipinos are by nature friendly and willing to engage in conversation. However, that gives them the opportunity for them to get you to lower your guard. So the scams, begging, or set-ups start taking place. I you catch them mid-way through the scam, their english will suddenly get worse.
      5. Uh, I think that is about it.

      At least in Thailand, they try to protect their tourist industry. So there are actual tourist police visitors can go to who come from England, germany, etc and this bypasses the language and corruption barrier to make tourists feel safer. The Philippines is too corrupt, stupid, and incompetent to implement such a policy that would benefit all.

      • I went there twice, but it was in my 1st vacation that I was robbed 3 times. Twice in Manila and once in Boracay. But nothing compares to that traumatic war experience in Zamboanga. You are dead right about your comment btw. Sorry it ain’t my intention to tarnish your country, but it’s just my experience.

        • I have no idea how you ended up in Zamboanga. That place is terrible.
          You don’t need to worry about me getting upset of your comments. I’m an American sadly with Filipino roots. I say very bad things about Filipino culture, the country, and the people, which basically means I tell the truth about the place. I’m more that happy to tell unsuspecting tourists to stay away. I would if I did not have to constantly go back to that S@#$-hole. If any person is considering a vacation and I can deter them elsewhere, I’ve done humanity a favor.

    • Johnny and Juan, the Philippines is a SH*Thole ever since the Aquinos robbed the presidency from the so-called dictator. After 1986 Edsa People Power, Philippines is continuously spinning down the toilet drain… but I may suggest, Cebu City and Davao City maybe a safer place to visit than corrupt-rampant Manila.

      • More of its, the Marcos admin, plus the corrupt nature of the culture. You can’t simply blame one family for how bad things are there. Further, I don’t think anyone, especially any tourist cares who is at fault. Foreigners just see it for what it is and could care less to get into the history to figure out or justify why its so F’d up.
        Cebu is an ok city. Davao is about the same. It still filled with poverty, corruption, trash, etc. However, I’d rather live in either one of those cities than Manila. That place is beyond help.

  6. The truth in the comments hurts but that is what it is. Hard c ore bulok-Politicians just ride on it instead of reviewing and correct the law immediately or issue a “Interim Order” to stop implementing such laws to the airport passengers in connection with amulets tradition.

    Those low-makers (Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act RA 10591 — whose principal authors include Sen. Ping Lacson, Muntinlupa Rep. Pong Biazon and Antipolo Rep. Romy Acop) who authored the law doesn’t even consider the old traditions of the land. In Africa hunters take the claw of the animals they hunted or killed and keep them as ornaments for their necklace or bracelets. PH pre-history before the spaniards came and damaged out culture Pilipinos practiced keeping amulets to ward of evils spirits. Nothing wrong of such practices and must be respected as an old tradition. The authors didn’t.

    The three stogies should bury their heads in the ground and those who exploit the the loop-hole of 10591 should be buried alive with bullets in their ar seholes.

  7. This bullet scam is an indictment of the Filipino people period. How can a criminal activity be so openly perpetuated by the same people who are supposedly sworn to safeguard its own people. They themselves are thieves, criminals … there is no other way to put it. This has been going on for years! What does that say of the entire nation? In your own premier airport, the gateway to your nation, you allow this to happen for YEARS? Translated posts here blame the government, but the government of any nation is merely the reflection of its people. At the end of the day, it is the people that is to blame. Where is the indignation of the people? Where is the concrete action of the people? Nothing!!! All words, endless words and no action …

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