By Genalyn Kabiling
Custom and immigration agents could lose their jobs if they insist on prying into balikbayan boxes just to squeeze money from returning Filipino workers.
The President issued the stern warning after he opposed the “special treatment” given to politicians who skip baggage screening while ordinary workers undergo thorough inspection at the airport.
“Kasi kung may isa diyan sa inyong outfit na may kasalanan, lahat kayo relieved. Customs police, pag nagkasala ‘yang isa, lahat tanggal. Ganon rin Immigration,” Duterte said during a press conference in Cagayan de Oro last Sunday (April 2).
“Eh gusto ninyo ng pakiusap na maganda ayaw naman ninyo, eh ‘di brasuhan tayo, ” he said.
Duterte insisted that he has already prohibited the opening of boxes containing goods and presents sent by Filipino workers abroad.
He noted that these items must not be subjected to random or arbitrary physical inspection after already passing the initial x-ray screening. “Why do you have to mess up ‘yang magbukas-bukas ng bag? Bawal ‘yan, bawal ‘yan,” Duterte added.
Also, Duterte frowned on the special privileges given to politicians and other influential people at the airports, saying there should be “equal treatment” for all passengers. He said he does not like to see airport cops hovering around passengers either to escort them or carry their bags.