MURDER IN MANILA - U.S. NAVAL OFFICER
SUPPOSEDLY COMMITS "SUICIDE" IN FALL
FROM TEN-FOOT STAIRWELL AT AQUINO
INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT - LT CMDR MEIJA
CLAIMED HE "SET UP" BEFORE DEATH
SAID WHITE PACKET OF "COCAINE" PLANTED
IN CARRY-ON BAG - WITNESS SAYS OFFICER
"VERY SCARED AND ASKED HELP FROM
OTHER PASSENGERS" - WAS HANDCUFFED
AT FATAL FALL - A "HULIDAP" GONE AMISS?
© 2010 MilitaryCorruption.com
"He was very scared and continuously asked for help from bystanders. When they finally took him away, he was screaming that they were going to kill him, and asked us to take pictures of the incident," a witness to the arrest of a U.S. Navy officer at Aquino International Airport in Manila says, MilitaryCorruption.com has learned.
The fellow passenger on Philippine Airlines Flight 112 from Manila to Los Angeles fears for their life if their identity is revealed.
All we know at this point is, LT CMDR Scintar Meija is dead and a huge mystery surrounds the circumstances of his bizarre demise.
NAVY OFFICER CLAIMS "SET-UP" - PLEADS FOR HELP
The tragedy unfolded around 7:20 PM local time, the day after Christmas. Meija had just gone through an x-ray check point when he reached into his handbag and angrily threw a packet of white powder at an airport security official.
"You're setting me up. This isn't right!" the Fil-Am officer reportedly shouted.
Onlookers told a MilitaryCorruption.com reporter in the Philippines that Meija became "hysterical" and pleaded for help from anyone nearby.
"OFFICIAL VERSION" DOESN'T PASS THE SMELL TEST
Here, the story gets murky because we can only depend on the truthfulness of the authorities to know what really transpired. They say Meija was questioned and confined at the Aviation Security Office at the airport, and around 0520 the next morning, asked guards to be allowed to use the washroom.
The "official" police report claims "the facility was occupied" so Meija, they say, pleaded to be allowed to urinate in a nearby parking lot. Two security personnel were beside him. All of a sudden, the handcuffed Navy commander allegedly took off at a run and threw himself, head first, down a ten foot flight of stairs. He later died of his injuries at a Manila hospital.
Was he "pushed" or did he jump on his own? And why? A short time before his so-called "suicide," he was shouting to his fellow passengers for help - that he feared he would be killed.
Complicating matters is a later test of the white powder substance. It yielded no trace of illegal drugs.
WHAT HAPPENED TO THE $30,000 IN CASH?
Meija had declared earlier to airport security he was carrying $30,000 with him to Los Angeles. Some cynical Filipino observers tell us that "it was likely an extortion attempt gone wrong. The crooked cops wanted a part of the money, so they planted the phony drug packet in his bag. Shake-downs like this are common. We even have a name for it here - its called HULIDAP."
Two days after the bizarre death and no information has been given out as to what happened to the brick of greenbacks, wrapped in brown paper.
Will The U.S. Embassy and Naval Criminal Investigative Service go along with the official version - which frankly smells very bad - or demand a fuller account? Will the fact the dead officer is Fil-Am former enlisted man and not an Academy "ring-knocker" have any bearing on the case?
The place Meija died is infamous for another death clouded in controversy. A prominent political opponent of the Ferdinand Marcos dictatorship had returned to the Philippines in 1983 from exile abroad. A contingent of soldiers arrived at the airport to escort the famous senator off the aircraft and safely take him to his hotel. He was shot in the back of the head and killed before he completed descending the ramp. His name: Benigno Aquino. The same Aquino for whom the Manila airport where Meija died is now named.