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BI chief says interceptions of illegally-acquired PH passports ‘alarming’

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Overstaying aliens have been resorting to using illegally-acquired Philippine passports.

This was bared by Bureau of Immigration (BI) Commissioner Norman Tansingco, citing as ‘alarming’ their personnel’s recent interceptions of fraudulently-acquired passports.

Tansingco recounted that on January 23, airport officers stopped the attempt of a male Chinese national identified as Zhang Hailin, 36, who presented a Philippine passport under the name Alex Garcia Tiu. Zhang attempted to fly out via a Thai Airways flight to Hanoi, Vietnam when he was stopped by immigration officers who doubted his identity. Apart from his Philippine passport, Zhang was able to present a genuine birth certificate.

On further questioning, it was found out that his fraudulently-acquired Philippine passport contained counterfeit immigration stamps.

He later admitted his true nationality and was found to be overstaying since 2020.

Similarly, intercepted on February 7 was a female Vietnamese national identified as Huynh Thanh Tuyen, 24. Huynh also presented a fraudulently-acquired Philippine passport under the name Maria Dantic Menor in her attempt to board a Cebu Pacific flight bound for Saigon, Vietnam.

During secondary inspection, Huynh admitted that she merely obtained her Philippine passport with the help of another Vietnamese friend.

“The rise in the use of fraudulently-acquired Philippine passports is alarming,” said Tansingco. “These illegal aliens misrepresent themselves to be able to secure Philippine documents and evade immigration inspection,” he added.

It can be recalled that earlier this year, the BI was able to intercept at least two other cases of fraudulently-acquired Philippine passports, the BI chief said.

Itchie G. Cabayan
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