The Tanim Bala Scam Is No Joke

Until now, I can't still forget what some person really said like, "You'll never be cheated in the Philippines." to some Vietnamese who got conned in Singapore (but the situation is now solved). Now it's time to talk about one very hot issue called the "tanim bala scheme" going on. If this goes on, Philippine tourism can die down which in turn will also hurt the economy.

Looking at the "tanim bala scheme", here's how it works according to ABS-CBN News which I don't really trust and I take their news with a grain of salt...

This has to be an inside job due to how effective and efficient it's been going on. What happens is that they look at the potential victim perhaps those who they deem has a lot of money. 

This inside job has a chameleon effect. Blending into the crowd is no easy job nor is it easy to find them in the midst of the crowd. I have to admit that the plan is almost fool proof especially if the inside job agent is really very good in what he or she does. The poor unsuspecting tourist from another country will find out the hard way that the statement, "You'll never get cheated in the Philippines." is a huge lie.

What is sad is that the person does not suspect a thing and he is forced to pay for a crime he did not commit. With how the Philippines is with a culture of impunity and a system that rewards the lazy but punishes the diligent, this entire laglag bala scam is making money out of framed-up people. This of course, rewards the incompetent as seen in the next step.

So the step is where the spotters and the unscrupulous security personnel of NAIA then make the share. Although planting a bullet requires a fast hand but it does near money faster than doing a decent job. So the poor tourist had to pay for a crime he did not commit while the two lazy folks get their share of the task. With this prevailing, people will be encouraged to do wrong in a culture of impunity. I don't think the Commission on Human Rights will even defend the victims but the perpetrators.

And for the MIAA General Manager, really, how can you say you perform your duties but not exercise accountability? The problem of most Filipinos is that accountability (or pananagutan, which is the Tagalog word) is not in their vocabulary. To say that he will perform his duties but not exercise accountability is sounding like resigned PNP Chief Alan Impurisima who said, "I only delegated the responsibility but not the accountability." If you will perform your duties, you will exercise accountability. Wow, really wow... I hate to admit it but a lot of Filipinos are willfully stupid like when they refuse to tell the difference between constructive criticisms and putdowns.

Let's compare Davao vs. Manila in how its authorities have their countermeasure against laglag bala. As much as I don't endorse Rodrigo Duterte for President but I can admire some of his methods. Just think of how Davao is dealing with its plan to stop the laglag bala scheme with HD monitoring systems, increased police visibility and airport staff raising the awareness. I doubt it there's any charge to it unlike what Manila is doing - offering to wrap your luggage with packaging tape (wow just wow) for a price of PHP 160.00 which might just be taking advantage of other people's misery for profit.

If I am to talk, people involved in the laglag bala scheme should get some penalties. Not only should they return the money, pay heavy penalties for frame-up and they should be made to serve jail time with no special treatment. What they did is no longer a civil offense like throwing garbage or parking at the wrong spot, it's already a criminal offense. While people who throw garbage and park at the wrong spot can be fined for certain fees because they did something wrong but it was not a criminal offense, framing somebody up should not be a slap in the wrist but it should be treated seriously depending on the degree of the frame-up.

Lastly, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH... I've had enough of David Guerrero's stupid slogan. Saying, "It's more fun in the Philippines" will not cure the wounds of people who were victimized by the tanim bala scheme. Do you even think that the whole idea of flashing the slogan while the scheme is going on will keep customers? Remember, testimonials beat taglines most of the time.


  1. On another perspective, I feel this scam is not only an effective money-making scheme, it can also be perhaps used to make it look like the current government is "heroic, noble, and benevolent." #propaganda

    If so, then I say "Nice try......" :v


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