Ombudsman to look into issuance of PH passports to foreigners
MANILA, Philippines – The Office of the Ombudsman is eyeing to conduct a motu proprio investigation on the alleged issuance of Philippine passports and other documents to foreigners.
“Itong issue sa fake passports [at mga foreigners] na nabibigyan ng [Philippine] ID, we still have to investigate this kung sino ang mga involved na tao. We have to distinguish kasi between the jurisdiction of the Department of Justice on what possible laws were violated,” Ombudsman Samuel Martires said.
(This issue with fake passports [and foreigners] being given [Philippine] IDs, we still have to investigate who are the people involved. We have to distinguish between the jurisdiction of the DOJ and what possible laws were violated.)
Martires, in the same interview, thanked members of the media for “reminding” him of the incident.
Asked if the office aims to conduct a motu proprio investigation on the alleged scheme, Martires replied: “Yes, we will look into that.”
Several senators earlier expressed alarm over the alleged issuance of Philippine passports to Chinese nationals, calling it a national security issue.
Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri also noted previously that some criminal syndicates using legal Philippine documents are now involved in crimes such as, but not limited to, kidnapping for ransom, extortion, and sex trafficking.