Wednesday, September 06, 2006

BREACH OF SECURITY INCIDENT IN AIRPORT CONTINUES

In the wake of the expose by a so-called terrorism and security expert regarding the failure of airport security to prevent him from smuggling bomb components on board a flight from Davao to Manila and back, the country’s anti-terrorism efforts still continue to show weaknesses that could be exploited by terrorists.

Anti-terrorism activities are not limited to filtering passengers in the hope of preventing a terrorist to get on board an aircraft, an activity wherein our airport security has shown to have a weakness. There are three dimensions to anti-terrorism --- prevention, apprehension and information. With particular reference to this expose by the security expert, it appears that the anti-terrorism efforts of the government have failed.

Failure in the prevention aspect was proven by the successful smuggling of the bomb components on board an aircraft. In the apprehension aspect, one week after the expose, authorities have yet to apprehend the individual who carried out the act. Even if there is a claim that his experiment was conducted upon the initiative of an influential and well-placed government official, the fact remains that there was no coordination with airport and police authorities, therefore they should have immediately conducted operations to trace him and apprehend him. As they say in tagalog, “sa presinto na lang siya magpaliwanag”.

But what the authorities have to show for themselves after this incident are a lot of excuses and a faceless name. In the aftermath of the September 11 World Trade Center attacks and the London bus and train bombings, authorities immediately came out with pictures of the suspects, taken from surveillance cameras placed in the terminals. This vital piece of information and evidence is an important lead in the investigation of terrorist acts, both in capturing suspects, identifying their network of cells and monitoring their activities.

The security expert said he conducted the tests on August 14. By mentioning this date, the authorities could have reviewed the tapes of their security cameras and verified the identities of all the passengers on the specified flight on that day, and by a process of elimination, they would have been able to confirm if the expert really did board that flight or not. They would have seen if he really was thoroughly checked or if there was laxity on the part of the airport security personnel.

But the inability of the authorities to do these post-incident activities show that they have also failed in the investigative and apprehension aspect of anti-terrorism.

They might dispute this by saying that they just withheld the information so as not to jeopardize their operations. Assuming that they were able to identify the expert but were just withholding the information, then they would have failed in the third aspect, which is informing the public.

A vital part of anti-terrorism is giving the public a sense of security and confidence that the government can protect them and are competent to shield the people from terrorist attacks. So far, the authorities, with all their excuses, have only added to the anxiety of the people over their safety.

4 comments:

Kcalii said...

There are few LP leaders that are involve in blogging. We are happy to know that you are active in this kind of alternative media.

We would like to inform you Sir that young leaders of the party, KALIPI, is exploring the blogosphere for the past five months. We are actually holding our first blogging workshop this coming Sunday.

If you have time Sir, please visit our site, its www.kalipiblog.blogspot.com and www.centerforliberalleadership.blogspot.com.

CLL is the advocacy and training group for young liberals here in the country. We maintain blog that features several articles written by young liberal leaders and party leaders.

Again Sir, we would like to ask your permission to allow the CLL to post your articles in our blog to be linked in your blog as we usually do with other liberal bloggers.

We are sure that your articles on your advocacies; defense,security and poverty alleviation will go along way to help CLL blog in showing to young liberals how liberal and responsive we are with regards to these issues. You may visit the blog for you to see some posted articles.

Thanks you Sir.

Eric Caliboso
www.ecaliboso81.blogspot.com

Ruffy Biazon said...

Eric,

Thanks for dropping by! It's my pleasure to allow CLL to post my articles.

Will visit your site soon!

Regards!

Artemio de la Cruz said...

Anti-terrorism expert Samson Macariola newspaper stunt regarding security breach in Manila and Davao airports should be taken as a NATIONAL CHALLENCE and serves as lesson. It’s crystal clear that Philippines’ airport security is not fail safe. Maybe sophisticated detection devices and man-to-man search and visual inspections are not enough to protect passengers from determined terrorist. Why prosecute Macariola for exposing Arroyo administration’s weakness in anti-terrorism? Perhaps inept Cabinet Oversight Committee on Internal Security wants a scapegoat for their failures or trying to divert public attention on discredited all -out war against the Reds. Political killings and abductions of suspected militants and religious workers is condemned by the international community. The corrupt and illegitimate Gloria Arroyo government is just doing a lip service to solve abductions and extra-judicial killings.

Airport security breach is not new in the Philippines. In 1994, Operation Bojinka was developed by Ramzi Yousef and Khalid Shaikh Mohammed in Manila. Oplan Bojinka was a planned large-scale suicide attacks on American commercial airliners in 1995. Philippine Airlines Flight 434 exploded in the air as test run. Al Qaeda bomb expert Ramzi Yousef boarded the PAL flight to Tokyo under an assumed name. Yousef assembled a possible liquid bomb and setting the timer to explode the device.

Malacanang officials are crying wolf. They tend to destroy the credibility of anti-terrorism expert Samson Macariola. The Philippines’ airport security set-up had been tarnish long time ago. What security measure Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita talking about? Why Macariola walks away from airport security with dummy bombs? Is corruption or lagay-palakasan system was involved at the security checkpoints? There are more questions than answers to Macariola airport security breach fiasco. What concrete measures to prevent another security breach? The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is on a tight watch at NAIA airport security and safety measures after the 9/11/2001 WTC attack. A lapse or breach of security may cause the FAA to ban all Manila flights to U.S. territories. Expect millions loss of revenues if cancellation of Philippine flights happens.

Kcalii said...

Its me again Sir, just would like you to know that we have already posted your article, 'Blast from the past' at CLL Blog. If you have time please visit the site...

Blast from the past by Rep. Ruffy Biazon (www.centerforliberalleadership.blogspot.com)

Also, please visit:

KALIPI produces new bloggers
(www.kalipiblog.blogspot.com)

to meet these new bloggers
(www.donnababadilla.blogspot.com)

KALIPI's new campaign -
Let them speak for themselves
(www.ecaliboso81.blogspot.com)