MANILA, Philippines — Whoever filmed the airport pre-departure screening of K-Pop group Enhypen, if proved to be a member of the security staff, may be fired, Mao Aplasca, administrator of the Office of Transportation Security (OTS), said on Monday in an interview with “DZMM TeleRadyo.”
“In the video that we saw that went viral, that was not our proper procedure and proper deportment of our screening officers at our airport,” Aplasca said in Filipino.
The incident happened at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) on Monday.
Shortly after, fans posted a video that went viral on TikTok. It showed a female airport security officer giggling while frisking a member of Enhypen as he walked through a metal detector on their way back to South Korea.
Not only was the behavior “unprofessional,” Aplasca said. But filming the screening by itself was a “worst case” violation of the rules of the Manila International Airport Authority, which runs NAIA.
But Aplasca clarified that the OTS was still trying to find out who exactly filmed the video and that all personnel involved in the area at the time of the incident had already been summoned for an investigation.
‘Like a breach of security’
“That’s what we will investigate. If we prove that the person taking the video is a staff member, I think that’s the worst case that our colleague can do at the airport,” Aplasca said.
“For us, it’s like a breach of security. That’s a very serious violation of our protocols and procedures, it could amount to separation from our service.”
“If we tolerate that, it’s possible for other people, even if they’re not VIPs, to film our screening checkpoint activities. And that is posing a danger to the traveling public,” he added.
Requiring the Enhypen members to remove their masks was also not part of the procedure, Aplasca said.
“In fact, we encourage our passengers when passing through the checkpoint to wear face masks. It’s only in immigration where the mask is removed to check the identity [of a passenger],” he said.
The staffer who conducted the frisking should have also been male. Screening protocols, he explained, dictate that male officers are supposed to frisk male travelers and women officers are allowed to frisk female travelers.
Aplasca reminded the public never to film the checkpoint and the immigration booths at the airport.