The other night as my brother Peter, my cousin Jing-jing and I were having dinner, news about the “laglag-bala” modus operandi flashed on TV. Some airport personnel are allegedly planting bullets in traveler’s bags so they can catch them with a violation, detain them, then extort money from them in exchange for their freedom.
The news story reminded my brother of an incident many years ago involving three HPG officers and a possible laglag-‘something’ scheme. His story goes like this:
As my brother was traversing a highway in Metro Manila, three HPG officers flagged him down. After he pulled over, Officer 1 asked for his license and registration.
“Routine inspection lang sir,” Officer 1 said.
He then asked my brother to step out of the car. Having had an inkling that this might be some kind of “laglag-baril/droga/what-have-you” operation, he took the necessary precaution of locking all of the car’s doors after stepping out.
Officer 1 asked him to open the hood. My brother did so but made sure to lock the car doors after. Officer 1 then proceeded to check under the hood, my brother looking on closely. As this was going on, Officer 2 was trying to open the car doors but found them locked.
“Buksan mo ‘to,” he called out. “Kailangan i-check yung loob.”
Unfazed, my brother replied “Sandali lang, pagkatapos dito, diyan tayo.”
Officer 2 had no choice but to wait. My brother, by the way, is a tall, dark, hulking mass of a man fit to be a bouncer with the attitude to match.
He does not intimidate easily.
After Officer 1 was done inspecting under the hood, he then asked to inspect the interior of the car. So my brother closed the hood and only then did he open the car doors. As Officer 1 and 2 started inspecting the inside, he again made sure to be looking on closely.
As this was going on, Officer 3 walked to the back of the car and said, “Buksan mo yung trunk para ma-check na.”
To which my brother again replied, “Sandali, pagkatapos dito, dyan tayo.” Officer 3 had no choice but to wait.
After Officer 1 and 2 were done inspecting the interior, my brother locked all the car doors and only then did he open the trunk. Again, he made sure to look on closely as the three officers made their inspection.
Having found nothing of suspicion and –to my brother’s mind– having been unable to plant an illegal weapon or a packet of prohibited substsnce or who-knows-what, Officer 1 returned his license and registration to him and motion him to go.
As he drove away, my brother said to himself, “Akala niyo maiisahan niyo ko ha.”
Now whether the HPG Officers’ intentions were malicious or not, we’ll never know. But my brother is just not the type to take that chance.
I thought it was real smart of him to take that precaution and I just wanted to share his story to those who may find themselves in the same situation and might want to take the same precaution too.
Because, you never know, you know?
Photo courtesy of http://www.tribune.net.ph/nation/20100321nat6.html