MANILA, Philippines - Sen. Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr. on Tuesday criticized the lax security at the country's airport following last Sunday's brawl between columnist Ramon Tulfo and celebrity couple Raymart Santiago and Claudine Barretto.
Revilla said the scuffle shows how slack security measures have become inside NAIA, which was compounded by a lack of a functioning CCTV camera at the baggage carousel area.
“Both parties could have been pacified and there could have been no injuries if only the airport security personnel acted promptly and properly. What made it worse is the non-functional CCTV camera that could have helped determine who made the first violent move,” the senator said in a statement.
Senate Majority Floor Leader Vicente Sotto III also took note that the NAIA-3 has no functioning CCTV camera to document unfortunate events in the area.
"All the necessary equipments for an international airport should be present in the airport," he said.
Revilla said the lapses justify the downgrade status given by US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on the country's air safety standards.
He criticized airline companies over reports of cancellation and delaying of flights, overbooking and off-loaded luggage.
Revilla said he also experienced problems with a local airline company when he went to Boracay to speak in the convention of the Confederation of Non-Stock Savings and Loan Associations, Inc. (CONSLA).
He said he had to charter a plane to Boracay after learning that he would be brought to Kalibo airport instead of Caticlan.
Revilla, who is also the chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Services, said he will monitor the actions being undertaken by Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines to address the slip-ups of the airline companies and the NAIA management.
"If we really want to boost tourism in our country, we must find ways to improve the services of our airline companies and the security measures inside our airports. There must be proper procedures in handling troubled airline passengers," he said.
He added: "Paano kung mas grabe pa ang mangyayari, halimbawa, may banta na ng terorismo? Mahihirapan tayong matugunan ito kung walang sapat na mga hakbang-pangseguridad ang ating mga paliparan."