Fact is indeed stranger than fiction.
Leah Castro Reginio, reportedly in her late 30’s and a native of Antique, managed to travel to Incheon, South Korea on Thursday without a passport and a plane ticket.
How Reginio managed to evade elaborate security at the airport is now the subject of investigation by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP).
Sources said Reginio breezed through the labyrinth of what was supposed to be a tight airport security cordon from the entrance gate, the immigration and even at the boarding gate manned by airline ground personnel.
Reginio took the Philippine Airlines flight bound for Seoul and was served inflight meals. She even requested a blanket from the flight attendant.
Upon her arrival at the Incheon International Airport, Reginio was questioned by Korean airport authorities. After she failed to produce a passport or any travel document, she was escorted to board the return flight to Kalibo.
Sources said PAL officials initially refused to board Reginio because she was not listed in the passenger manifest.
But after Korean airport officials showed the video Reginio emerging from PR 490 after it landed at 8:45 p.m. in Incheon, PAL relented.
As soon as the plane landed back in Kalibo, Reginio was turned over to Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) authorities where she was held for questioning.
During investigation, CAAP officials reportedly had a hard time extracting information from Reginio who was merely smiling and not answering a single question.
She subsequently admitted that she was able to enter the Kalibo airport and board the flight for free along with other passengers mostly Korean nationals who just came from their vacation in Boracay.
Boracay is a popular destination for Koreans specially during winter season.
CAAP officials traced her relatives in Antique who informed them that Reginio is suffering from schizophrenia, a mental disorder often characterized by abnormal social behavior and failure to recognize what is real.
This explains why Reginio, when asked how many children she has, told investigators: “I have more than four and a half, but not less than three.”
Reginio told investigators that she has been dreaming of traveling to many places. She even claimed she has relatives working abroad.
At one instance, Reginio claimed that she was able to take the “ro-ro” (roll on-roll off) without paying anything.
CAAP later released Reginio to a relative without any charges being filed.
“This does not sit well with the worldwide effort to ensure the safety of airports and airline passengers from potential terrorist act,” the airport source said. “Heads should not only roll but a thorough review of the security procedure should be immediately put forward.”