OTS chief Aplasca resigns amid NAIA cash-swallowing scandal

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 26) — Office of Transport Security (OTS) administrator Ma. O Aplasca has tendered his courtesy resignation in the wake of the alleged theft by a screening officer at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, he confirmed to CNN Philippines on Tuesday.

Aplasca responded "yes" to a message from CNN Philippines seeking confirmation about his resignation.

“‘Di ko rin maintindihan kung bakit nawala na sa mga corrupt na tauhan ko yung issue at napunta na sa akin," he said. "You can ask Martin Romualdez."

[Translation: I also don't understand why the issue was taken off from my corrupt staff and has gone to me.]

This comes after House Speaker Martin Romualdez demanded him to step down from his post or he would personally block the approval of the 2024 budgets of the OTS.

The lower chamber is currently deliberating the 2024 budgets of government agencies.

Earlier, Aplasca expressed surprise at Romualdez's call, saying that he had "done nothing wrong" and that "corrupt officials should instead be asked to resign."

Romualdez called for an overhaul of the OTS, replacing its entire workforce and rehiring only those who pass a vetting process after a Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) security officer was seen stealing and swallowing cash from a Chinese traveler. 

"We are already fed up with these reports of stealing and other acts of wrongdoing at the airport, for which OTS officials and their DOTr supervisors are ultimately responsible. A top-to-bottom overhaul is needed,” he said.