The head of the Philippines’ Office for Transportation Security (OTS) said they have enough male employees to frisk male passengers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) as he reacted to the viral video of the members of K-pop boy band ENHYPEN as they were undergoing security screening on Feb. 5.
After finishing their “Manifesto” world tour in Manila on Feb. 5, ENHYPEN members headed to NAIA Terminal 1 to board their flight back to South Korea.
The video, originally posted on TikTok and spread on Twitter, showed a female airport employee frisking ENHYPEN members and asking them to pull down their face masks.
ENHYPEN fans are demanding accountability regarding the incident.
Fans were outraged by what they called the “unprofessional” behavior of the unidentified employee when she frisked the K-pop stars.
Due to the incident, the topics “Nakakahiya ,” “NAIA,” “Unprofessional,” “MIAA hear us” and “do something” trended on Twitter.
The OTS is “the single authority responsible for the security of the transportation systems of the country” including civil aviation, sea transport and maritime infrastructure, and land transportation, rail system and infrastructure.
In an interview with GMA’s “24 Oras” on Feb. 6, OTS Administrator Ma. O. R. Aplasca said that usually a male employee will pat down a male passenger and female to a female passenger.
"As much as possible, male to male ang magco-conduct ng pat down, female to female. But in some areas lalo na sa probinsya, we allow babae to pat down male passengers but not male OTS personnel to pat down female. Pero in Manila International Airport we have enough male personnel to conduct pat down doon sa mga lalaking mga pasahero (As much as possible, the conduct of the pat down is male to male, female to female. But in some areas especially in the province, we allow female to pat down male passengers but not male OTS personnel to pat down female. But at the Manila International Airport, we have enough male personnel to conduct pat down on male passengers),” he said.
About the filming at the security checkpoint area at NAIA, he said, "Titingnan din namin kasi ang mga checkpoints namin normally meron kaming supervisors dyan so dapat kung may mali na nakikita the supervisors should correct it immediately (We will also look because at our checkpoints, normally we have supervisors there so if there are wrongful acts, the supervisors should correct it immediately).”
About the female employee asking ENHYPEN members to pull down their face masks, he said, “...pati ang pagbababa ng face mask, I think, hindi naman kasama yun sa aming ano...In fact, we encourage 'yung mga tao passing our checkpoint to also wear mask (Even asking to pull down face mask, I think, it is not included in our...In fact we encourage people passing our checkpoint to also wear mask).”
The OTS earlier issued a statement about the ENHYPEN video. It said:
“It has come to the attention of the Office for Transportation Security (OTS) that there is a video circulating on social media, showing that airport Security Screening Officers allegedly exhibited unprofessional behavior and the unwarranted filming during the conduct of security screening procedures on a group of departing Korean artists at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
“The management is currently investigating the matter to determine the extent of violation committed based on existing rules and security screening protocols if any, and impose appropriate administrative sanctions, should it be necessary.”
“While we understand the excitement brought about by the presence of these Korean artists, we remind not only our personnel, but all airport users, that unauthorized filming at our security screening checkpoints is not allowed as a matter of policy. Rest assured that the OTS shall never tolerate any unprofessional behavior towards the riding public.”
The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA), which manages the NAIA, also issued a statement about the incident.
“The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA), in coordination with the Office for Transportation Security (OTS), shall monitor the progress of the investigation about the viral video involving their personnel,” the MIAA said in a statement.
It added, “Rest assured that the MIAA will not condone any and all acts that run contrary to established and internationally accepted airport security procedures.”