The Other Side of the Story

“Laglag bala” made headlines all over the world informing everyone to be careful when coming to the Philippines. It is truly a very embarrassing story. At the same time, it’s heartbreaking to know that we are experiencing this in the hands of our fellow Pinoys. But as much as the people behind this modus is at fault here, the victims are partly to blame as well.

I am not saying that the victims did something wrong. I know someone will be saying, “How can it be their fault? They didn’t want to be victimized by those people!” I know that. That’s why they’re victims. They didn’t like what happened to them. They certainly did not ask for it to happen.

But this story is more than just the schemers trying to extort money from their victims. If only we can get past that issue or be open-minded about the whole thing, we’ll all realize that it opens a whole new story we all turn our blind eyes on all the time.

In an article I’ve read, this “laglag bala” scheme has been going on for so long now according to the wife of a previous scanner working in NAIA. If that’s true, why do you think it took so long before it was “busted?”

The answer is obvious. It’s because…

People, most of the time, would rather be a “victim” than fight for what’s right.

None of the victims before stood up and did the right thing to do. Most of the time, we’re so scared to fight for our rights. We’re so scared to do the right thing because we think other people are more powerful than us. We’re scared about all the threats that are just all bluff, really.

Why do you think these schemers were able to pull their stint so easily? It’s because they know that people will fall for it! It’s because they know that they can easily trick people by pretending that they have power! It’s because they know that people won’t fight for what’s right! Because what’s right is HARD. And people don’t like hard. They want EASY. And paying money to get out of trouble is easy.

If a bullet was found in your luggage and you know it’s not yours, why will you be scared if these scammers are threatening you???

First of all, you came from another country and had your luggage checked in an airport before you landed in NAIA. You were obviously cleared because you were able to get on the plane and flew all the way to Philippines. That’s one valid argument to start with.

Secondly, since the bullet is not yours, it will not have your fingerprints on it and it might even have the fingerprints of the person who put it in if they’re stupid enough not to put a glove on while putting it. That’s another valid argument. By the way, if they do have gloves on, that can be used against them too. If this happens to you, just be smart enough to know not to touch the bullet they can use against you. You can also justify why you would not bring a bullet with you. Why would you actually have a bullet for? You obviously don’t have a gun, so what’s its purpose then? You can downright argue about it because the whole “laglag bala” modus is stupid. They didn’t think it through because they’re confident that they can victimize people spot on.

Another thing is, since this is a scheme, of course they would already try to extort money from you. Scare you of the possibility that you’ll be in jail if you won’t give them the money. Right there, you’re already 100% sure that they just want to get some bucks from you. You can easily call the manager or any person in authority to speak with you and let her know about the whole situation specifically about their staff trying to extort money from you. You know you’re not guilty so you don’t have anything to be afraid of.

But sadly, most of the victims easily handed over the money. I couldn’t blame them for doing so. It might be the most practical thing to do at that moment to avoid all the trouble it might cause them. It’s easy, but was it the right thing to do?

I know, it’s easier said than done. I couldn’t imagine how scary it could be to have someone threatening to put you in jail. I would have been scared too, but not scared enough to back down and not fight for what’s right. After all, I did nothing wrong. It’s not my bullet and I’m gonna prove to them that I’m not scared and I’ll fight for what I know is the right thing to do. Besides, paying for something you’re not accountable for is like admitting to a crime you did not commit in the first place.

I feel bad for all the victims. I do. I wouldn’t wanna be a victim of something like that.

I don’t blame them for what they did. I couldn’t. They had their reasons. I just wish some of them stood up for what’s right. If someone did long ago, people will be aware and there might not be any victims anymore.

This issue is something that happens everywhere. A policeman trying to extort money from a motorist who violated the traffic rules, an election candidate buying people’s votes, and others. It doesn’t stop because we are WILLING VICTIMS.

Sometimes, we’re too scared that we’re not able to do the right thing. And you know what’s funny? Nowadays, people who did no wrong are the ones who are scared of the people who did them wrong. Ain’t it twisted???

It’s okay to be scared because we all are, but it shouldn’t hinder us from doing the right thing. If you know you’re not doing anything wrong, the more that you have to fight for what’s right because most of the time, it’s not only the criminals fault. What they did wrong is what they have to be accounted for, but it’s up to us to do the rest. If we let them get away with what they did, then probably, there’s something wrong with us too.


2 thoughts on “The Other Side of the Story

  1. I agree with your blog. I share with your sentiments that there is no one to stand for their rights because they are “willing victims” and condone this extortionists in NAIA. At the moment, my husband and I are having second thoughts in going home this Christmas season because of this “laglag bala” scam. We already booked our flight but we are considering of cancelling it. We miss our family but we are also apprehensive that we might be the next victims. It is very ironic that the excitement of seeing our loveones in the Philippines will turn into anxiety and fear. Your blog has perked up our spirits and as what you have said “why we should be afraid if we are clean and not guilty?”. It is high time to stand for our rights. If no one can, who will?

    1. Thank you very much! I’m happy to know that. Please come home. They should be the ones feeling scared coz they’re at fault here. Don’t sacrifice your Christmas for those criminals. :) Hopefully, a lot of people will come forward and stand up for what’s right because really, that’s the only thing that can stop these bad guys from scamming people.

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