You thought taking your shoes off was bad. Airport security in the Philippines are making our mild TSA-based inconveniences look very, very bearable. In an effort to line their pockets a little, airport security staff have taken to slipping bullets into the bags of unsuspecting travelers and asking for cash (with the looming threat of jail time) once the metal detectors buzz.
In a recent report by the BBC, Sherwin Gatchalian, a member of the tourism committee in the House of Representatives, said, “This is becoming an international embarrassment.” Elaborating on the fact that Americans, Japanese, Koreans, and Filipinos alike were getting caught up in the scandal. He went on to say that the offenders were “not afraid to prey on foreigners.”
A 20-year-old missionary from Florida reportedly spent six days in jail for not paying a bribe while a Filipino worker and Japanese tourist were the most recent passengers to be detained. Senator Ralph Recto stressed for some intervention from authorities, finishing his speech by saying, “There is no working system that is guarding the guards.”
So, if you’re traveling though the Philippines, and a bullet shows up in your bag, now you know to yell “shenanigans!” or, y’know, the Filipino equivalent.