Villanueva condemns 'ridiculous' NAIA human trafficking incident

Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva expressed disappointment over an incident of human trafficking at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) last February 13, 2023 which he describes as “ridiculous."

Villanueva was reacting to the privilege speech of Senator Grace Poe Wednesday, Feb. 15, about an incident that allowed several foreigners to leave the country even without undergoing departure clearance and other security protocols last Feb. 13.

Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri described the incident as ‘’disgusting’’ because it showed that government personnel could be blinded by grease money.

Poe said individuals boarded a private jet with tail no. N9527 operated by a Hong Kong-based leasing company named Cloud Nine No. 1 Leasing Company Limited.

“We’re not only talking about national security here or human trafficking but also accountability... This is also an issue of graft and corruption,” Villanueva stressed.

The speech was referred to three committees, including the Senate public order committee chaired by Senator Ronald ‘’Bato’’ Dela Rosa, a former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief.

Senator Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada expressed confidence in the ability of Dela Rosa in conducting a thorough investigation into yet another “human trafficking” activity at the NAIA involving a private aircraft and foreign nationals allegedly in connivance with some airport and immigration personnel.

“I think heads will roll. I know Senator Bato very well. He is very capable of investigating this particular problem and we have a saying: let the axe fall where it may,” Estrada said.

Poe has called for a probe on a yet another “human trafficking” scheme at the NAIA involving private aircrafts and foreign nationals.

Poe said police and airport authorities failed to stop the departure of a 13 Dubai-bound flight that carried 10 alien passengers.

Only seven, however, were declared before immigration officials.

She said a similar incident took place last December, wherein undeclared Chinese nationals were able to skirt pre-flight inspections.

“More than just a protocol glitch, the issue digs deeper as it involves national security and human trafficking,” Poe stressed.

“Let us not allow private flights in our airports as a highway for human trafficking,” she said.