A supposed victim of thievery at the NAIA learned a lesson or two from aviation cops.

By Benjie Lim Vergara

(File photo) NAIA Terminal 2 ©

AN airplane passenger bound for Australia on Friday was detained by airport authorities for creating a ruckus at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport while accusing a security personnel of stealing his cellular phone, it was learned yesterday.

Wilfredo Cabigao, a passenger of Philippine Airlines (PAL) flight PR221 bound for Brisbane, loudly complained that he lost his after passing at the initial security check of NAIA Terminal 2. He said that after his luggage underwent mandatory security check, his phone disappeared.

Cabigao immediately and loudly accused the Office for Transportation Security (OTS) personnel manning the security area of stealing his phone causing alarm to other passengers who stopped and “rubber necked.” This prompted the NAIA Aviation police to respond and search the OTS personnel manning the security area and nearby areas for the missing phone but to no avail.

The police then decided to ask Cabigao personally search his bag in front of them and voila, he found his phone.

“Mr. Cabigao was subjected for investigation for Alarming Scandal as complained by the party of OTS. He was accompanied to the PNP office at South-wing departure,” the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) said.

Later, Cabigao, apparently realizing his mistake, apologized to the OTS staff for his being rude to them. He was then was released and allowed to continue with his journey, but not before being asked to “write a letter stating that he was wrong and that his cellphone was (found) inside his bag.”

The MIAA management has long been advising air travelers to always watch out for their belongings while inside the terminals due to the heavy volume of passengers.

Benjie Vergara
A veteran reporter covering the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila. He is currently writing for Manila Times, the Philippines' oldest newspaper.

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