OTS asked Arroyo to remove shoes

By Benjamin Lim Vergara


House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Image ©

AN Office for Transportation Security (OTS) personnel broke protocol when he asked former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to take off her shoes as she passes a security checkpoint at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport recently.

This despite the alleged coordination between airport security officials and the Presidential Security Group team responsible for Ms. Arroyo’s security. This prompted some airport officials to chastise Joel Rosanto, the security personnel who made Ms. Arroyo walked barefooted, for “stepping over the line.”

Ms. Arroyo was on her way to the departure area at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport where she is to board a Japan bound plane last October 27 when she was stopped by Rosanto for failing to remove her shoes. Despite the seeming disrespect, the former president gamely removed her shoes, walked barefooted and passed through the security checkpoint.

Arroyo returned on November 8 and was met by apologetic airport officials.

A video of the incident shows Rosanto preventing Ms. Arroyo from passing through the security checkpoint without removing her shoes as required. The same video also showed the PSG escorts of Ms. Arroyo confronting Rosanto after she passed through the security checkpoint.

When interviewed by reporters on Monday, Rosanto insists that Arroyo’s group failed to coordinate with the OTS hence he asked the former president asked to remove her shoes.

Trabaho lang po sa akin (it’s my job as a frisker),” Rosanto said who was the team leader at that time. “Sorry, we are just doing our jobs.”


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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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