A scam at the Manila International Airport, involving security personnel planting bullets in the luggage of unsuspecting passengers to extort money, caused outrage throughout the Philippines earlier this month.
As reported by KBR, carrying a single bullet on the Southeast Asian island is illegal. Several Filipino and foreign passengers have claimed in recent weeks that airport security staff asked them to pay a fee — ranging from $12 to $600 — for them to turn a blind eye after "finding" ammunition in their bags. Those who refused to pay the bribe were detained and taken to court.
After legislators started denouncing the scheme, known as laglag-bala ("drop bullet"), Filipino President Benigno Aquino III ordered an investigation into the matter and authorities created a public help desk at the Manila International Airport.
But the Filipino public didn't await the investigation's outcome before expressing outrage. Passengers have started attaching notices to their bags that say "this bag is bullet-proof" or wrapping their luggage in plastic cling wrap to prevent bullets being planted.
The scandal even inspired the creation of a mobile game in which users have to avoid bullets being dropped into their bags while going through airport security. Alma Cabasal, former Miss Philippines Earth, also asked airport staff to "plant trees, not bullets," and the boxer Manny Pacquiao, who is also a member of the Philippine House of Representatives, has offered legal advice to victims of the scheme.