THE proliferation of illegally-acquired Philippine passports is a national security issue.
Thus said Bureau of Immigration (BI) Commissioner Norman Tansingco, when he attended the Public Hearing of the Committee on Finance presided by Senator Sonny Angara, revealing that there were at least 10 recent cases of authentic Philippine passports used by illegal aliens. All said aliens were charged for violation of the Philippine immigration act and were included in the BI’s derogatory list.
The hearing discussed the proposed 2024 National Expenditure Program of the Department of Justice and its attached agencies, which includes the BI and there, Tansingco detailed that the said foreign nationals were able to illegally acquire Philippine documents such as passports, birth certificates, driver’s license, and postal IDs.
It can be recalled that in April, the BI reported the case of a certain Danny Wong, who attempted to depart for Cambodia, claiming that he was of Chinese-Korean-Filipino lineage but numerous red flags promoted the officers to further scrutinize his documents, which he later confirmed to have been acquired by a compatriot. He was later confirmed to be a Korean national named Kim Ho Cheol.
Earlier this month, the BI reported the arrest of Faizan Muhammad who presented a Philippine National ID.
“Their use of authentic documents make it doubly difficult to detect and arrest,” said Tansingco. “But through our officers’ advanced skills, we were able to ascertain their actual identities” he said.