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Philippine President conducts 'surprise' security inspection at international airpor

Philippine President conducts 'surprise' security inspection at international airpor

Old Oct 23, 07, 4:16 am
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Philippine President conducts 'surprise' security inspection at international airpor


Philippine President Arroyo, played TSA-screener saying there is, "the need to be vigilant in the aftermath of the Glorietta mall blast in Makati City last Friday."

The Philippine President made a "surprise inspection" of the existing security arrangements at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Centennial 2 terminal in Pasay City yesterday afternoon[...]

The President’s first stop was the final X-ray machine where passengers’ non-checked-in baggage are inspected for any liquid or aerosol containers containing more than 10 ml of fluid. The President then proceeded to inspect the pre-departure area, where the first set of X-ray machines check on departing passengers’ entire luggage.
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Old Oct 23, 07, 8:05 am
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I don't know if it's a typo or not. The surprise inspection is worthless, just a show. There are so many holes in airport security even at MNL itself.

But don't worry, the Philippines will win in the "war on terror" by having a few dozen Americans (and others) on a Philippines list to keep out terrorists:

Americans placed on Filipino watch list

UPI Homeland and National Security Editor

WASHINGTON, Oct. 12 (UPI) -- U.S. labor and human-rights advocates were placed on a terrorist watch list by the government of the Philippines and barred entry to the country earlier this year.

Sixty-nine Americans were among 504 “personalities with al-Qaida/Taliban links” placed on two immigration watch lists July 25-26, according to a Philippine government order dated Aug. 14, which removed them.

But according to U.S. human-rights groups who have surveyed the list, the Americans on it include labor and religious advocates with no connection to terrorism.

Human Rights Watch said the names included representatives of U.S. organizations such as Church World Service, the Methodist Church General Board of Church and Society, and the National Lawyers Guild, as well as labor groups.

Brian Campbell, an attorney with the U.S.-based International Labor Rights Forum whose name appears on the list, told United Press International it was part of the Philippine government’s efforts to isolate labor and human-rights groups in the country from their international allies and “quash or silence any criticism of the government there.”

Campbell, who was barred from entering the Philippines last year because he was on the list, said the issue had been raised with both the Philippine Embassy in Washington and the U.S. State Department.

“Many people (on the list) are very concerned,” he said. In an era when nations are increasingly sharing information about alleged terrorist threats, people were asking, “Will they suddenly find they cannot travel to other countries as well?”

He said there was particular concern that people on the list from third countries, including places like China, Pakistan and Myanmar, might suffer severe consequences.

Human Rights Watch, which had initially posted the list on its Web site, quickly took it down because of concerns about it becoming public, including that other governments might use the names as a basis to watch-list the individuals, Campbell said.

Philippine Embassy spokesman Gines Gallaga told UPI the 504 names had been added to the watch lists for two periods over the past year -- when he said there was concern about security at regional summit meetings in Manila.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations staged a heads of government meeting there in early January and then a ministerial summit in August.

On both occasions, Gallaga said, the watch list had been used to deal with Philippine “concerns, as the host country, for security,” but also for “the smooth conduct of the summit.” “Yes there was concern about protests,” he said.

“The list has been lifted,” he said, adding that Campbell and the other Americans on it were “OK to travel” to the Philippines.

But Gallaga was unable to explain why the names on the list had been linked with al-Qaida. “We are still waiting for clarification on that point from Manila,” he said.

He said he was also awaiting more information about how and on what basis the list had been compiled.

A State Department official authorized to speak to the media told UPI only that “the list was rescinded in August and we have no reason to believe it will be reinstated.”

Sam Zarifi of Human Rights Watch said the group was “not convinced by the assurances we’ve heard” from either the embassy or the State Department.

“Our sense is that this list is something they have, and sometimes they use it and sometimes they don’t,” he said.

Campbell was more blunt. “If the State Department does not believe the list will be re-imposed, they need to look at the history,” he said, adding that, even between the two summits, when the list was allegedly not in use, people on it had been “harassed” when entering the country.

This “pattern of practice,” he said, meant “there is every reason to believe it will be reinstated.”


For some time, the Philippine government used a U.S.-supplied computer watch-listing system called the Personal Identification Secure Comparison and Evaluation System.

Provided to more than a dozen participating nations under a State Department program to boost the counter-terrorist capacities of U.S. allies, PISCES uses passport scanners, digital cameras, fingerprint readers and other hardware to link ports of entry or border crossings with a centralized database of watch-listed individuals drawn up by the host nation.

PISCES was deployed in 2004 at two terminals of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in the Philippines and at Bureau of Immigration headquarters, according to the State Department.

But it was not the system used to list the 69 Americans, officials say.
So some officials say.

PISCES has resulted in arrests (and worse) of individuals wrongly flagged down by the system.
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