Issuance of fake Hajj IDs probed
ILIGAN CITY – The National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) on Wednesday ordered a probe on the reported issuance of fake Hajj identification cards to Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) so that they can join the pilgrimage, one of the five pillars of Islam.
Dr. Dimapuno Alonto Datu-Ramos, Jr., NCMF public relations head, said NCMF Secretary Saidamen Pangarungan got wind of the practice after he was informed that some regular pilgrims, those who came straight from the country, had been eased out of their accommodations by hundreds of OFWs who were allegedly “illegally smuggled inside” the site.
In a statement released through social media, Pangarungan revealed that he discovered the modus operandi as he was about to perform a ritual at the Great Mosque of Mecca.
Pangarungan said about 30 OFWs approached him for picture-taking and admitted having “sneak(ed) in” with at least 300 others for a fee of 2,000 to 2,500 Saudi Riyals (P28,000 to P35,000). /lzb
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