The Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Wednesday called for the investigation of syndicates behind the issuance of Philippine passports and other identification documents to illegal aliens.
BI Commissioner Jaime Morente expressed his concern, stating that “syndicates that assist aliens in acquiring Philippine documents are still out there operating” and fears that this “may have security implications”.
The statement came after the arrest of two male Indian nationals by operatives of the BI’s Intelligence Division. The Indians, identified as Satbir Sandhu, 25, and Mandish Sandhu, 24 were arrested in a high-rise condominium in Mandaluyong City after falsely representing themselves as Filipinos.
According to BI Intelligence Division Chief Fortunato Manahan Jr., the Indians were subject of a complaint from a concerned citizen.
“Upon issuance of the Mission Order, we located Mandish, who presented an original Philippine passport under the name Jeff Sunga Sandhu,” said Manahan. “Also with him was his brother, Satbir who presented a Philippine postal ID and Manila Police Clearance under the name Sunny Sunga Sandhu, a Filipino national,” he added.
Manahan shared that the duo’s fingerprint records revealed that both were former residents in the Philippines and used Indian passports.
Mandish was likewise found in possession of a Philippine birth certificate, saying he was born from a Filipino mother.
“We have observed this to be a modus,” said Manahan. “Illegal aliens would acquire authentic documentation saying that they are Filipinos, and would at times possess birth certificates that were registered late. From this, they are able to acquire more documents for more Philippine IDs,” he added.
It can be recalled that in 2016 a total of 177 Indonesians were intercepted by the BI for carrying fraudulently-acquired Philippine passports.
In September 2018, the BI Intelligence Operatives likewise arrested and deported a Chinese woman for using a Philippine passport to work in the country.