Fox News host on ‘laglag bala’: “Do governments even care to do what is right?”

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American media personality Greta Van Susteren of Fox News tackled the "laglag bala" scam for two straight nights

Because of the infamous laglag-bala (drop-a-bullet) scam in Philippine airports, the Aquino government is back in the global spotlight exactly two years after its wobbly response to the devastation of super typhoon “Yolanda” generated headlines in international media organizations.

The racket, wherein airport security officers covertly drop live ammunition into the belongings of unsuspecting travelers, has been reported in various Western media outlets including BBC, CNN, and Time Magazine. Adding insult to injury, Greta Van Susteren, an anchor for popular American network Fox News, discussed the issue for two consecutive nights.

Speaking on her show On The Record last November 5, Van Susteren warned her audience who may be planning to go to the Philippines about the scheme. “International travelers are being targeted by Filipino airport security officials who plant live ammunition in their luggage,” she said, adding that she was told about it by a Filipino-American friend.

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American media personality Greta Van Susteren of Fox News tackled the “laglag bala” scam for two straight nights

“They’re even holding some passengers for days, telling them they can pay a fine or sit in the slammer facing charges,” Van Susteren said, explaining that all these is part of a plot to extort money out of the international travelers.

According to her, there has been 30 drop-a-bullet incidents recorded in the last 12 months while five international passengers have been arrested in the past two weeks. The issue gained traction in late September when Lane Michael White, a 20-year-old American missionary from Florida, came forward and narrated his victimization.

The following night, Van Susteren talked about the “laglag-bala” issue again. “The Philippine government knows all about this scam and has not stopped it,” she said, before asking rhetorically: “Do governments even care to do what is right when the problem is so obvious?”

Getting bad publicity in any foreign media outlet is bad in itself. What makes Van Susteren’s back-to-back nights of highlighting the “laglag-bala” issue is the fact that Fox News is the highest-rated cable news channel in the United States. And since Van Susteren’s program airs during prime time, chances are, millions of Americans are now aware of this embarrassing scandal.

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About Mark Madrona 1191 Articles
Mark Madrona is a prize-winning blogger, online journalist, and educator from the Philippines. Previously a book editor, he is now teaching communication subjects for two public universities in Manila. His blog The Filipino Scribe won 3rd place in a blog competition organized by the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability in East Asia and the Pacific (ANSA-EAP). In 2015, it was one of the finalists in the 2015 Lasallian Scholarum Awards for Best Online Feature Article in Youth and Education. He also won the Best Blog Award during the 2011 Population and Development Media Awards, the youngest recipient of that recognition. Know more about him here: http://www.filipinoscribe.com/about/.

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