Solon flags Indonesians with fake PH passports amid extremism threat

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 20 2018 11:05 AM

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A lawmaker on Wednesday raised concern on the alleged presence of Indonesian nationals with fake Philippine passports in Mindanao, where foreign fighters last year joined a 5-month attack on the southern city of Marawi.

Maguindanao Rep. Zajid Mangudadatu said he first reported in 2016 the case of some 170 Indonesians who managed to obtain Philippine passports to attend the annual Hajj pilgrimage in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

The number of Indonesians with fake passports recently increased, entering the country through General Santos on their way to Maguindanao and Sultan Kudarat, he said, citing intelligence reports.

Mangudadatu said some Indonesians fought alongside Maute gunmen who stormed Marawi last year.

"Ito yung mga parang interesadong tao, banyaga na nagti-train ng mga Muslim Filipinos kaya mas lalong nasisira ang imahen ng ating mga kababayan at iyung mga kapatid nating mga Muslim," he added.

(These are likely the foreigners who trained Muslim Filipinos which in turn destroys the image of our Muslim brothers.)
 
He urged the Department of Foreign Affairs to investigate and sack any personnel who may be involved in counterfeiting passports, as well as consider printing passports in government facilities instead of through private contractors.

The DFA, for its part, said counterfeiting passports is difficult because of its security features. The police meanwhile said it is on the watch for foreigners that may enter the country with fake passports.

DZMM, 20 June 2018