The Bureau of Immigration (BI) will tighten its screening of arriving passengers claiming to be Filipino citizens, as the bureau expressed concern over recent interceptions of foreign nationals misrepresenting as Filipino citizens.
BI Commissioner Norman Tansingco said that only recently, the immigration officers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) intercepted a Hong Kong-Canadian national suspected to have misrepresented himself as a Filipino.
The BI’s Travel Control and Enforcement Unit (TCEU) recorded two more cases of misrepresentation this month at the NAIA.
Apprehended at the NAIA Terminal 3 was 35-year-old woman identified as Nong Thi Luyen. Nong attempted to leave for Vietnam via a Cebu Pacific Airways flight to Saigon.
Nong, who initially presented a Philippine passport bearing a Philippine name, raised the suspicion of immigration officers when she was unable to answer basic details about her identity.
“She later admitted during questioning that she is a Vietnamese citizen and that she last arrived in the country almost two decades ago. Apparently, she wanted to evade overstaying penalties so she resorted to misrepresenting herself,” Tansingco said.
Investigation further bared that the Philippine passport presented by the passenger belonged to someone else.
Also intercepted at the NAIA Terminal 1 last January 23 was Hailan Zhang, 36, who attempted to depart the country via a Thai airways flight to Hanoi. Vito Barcelo
Hailan initially presented a Philippine passport, and carried identification cards and permits, claiming he was a businessman in the country.
However, the officers noted numerous inconsistencies in his statements, and he later admitted his real identity. The BI’s forensic documents laboratory also certified that while his Philippine passport is genuine, it bore a fake BI departure stamp.
Both Nong and Hailan were charged with violation of the Philippine Immigration Act, and will remain at the BI’s warden facility in Taguig City pending their deportation.