NBI Davao uncovers ‘falsified birth certificates’ issued to Chinese

NBI Davao uncovers ‘200 falsified birth certificates’ issued to Chinese

/ 05:32 AM July 11, 2024

NBI Davao uncovers ‘200 falsified birth certificates’ issued to Chinese

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DAVAO CITY, Philippines — The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) said it had uncovered “close to 200 falsified birth certificates” issued to Chinese nationals from 2018 to 2019, all by the civil registry of one town.

This was revealed as the NBI regional office here arrested on Tuesday a Chinese national who presented a spurious birth certificate he obtained in 2013.


Archie Albao, the NBI director for Region 11, said the arrest was made after the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) called the bureau’s attention to a 21-year-old Chinese male who gave “contradictory statements’’ about his identity in the course of applying for a passport.


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Albao said it was his office’s first apprehension of a Chinese national who had been issued a falsified birth certificate by the Local Civil Registry (LCR) of Santa Cruz, Davao del Sur, where the applicant claimed to have been born.

Before this case, he said, the NBI regional office discovered close to 200 falsified birth certificates issued to Chinese nationals by the Santa Cruz LCR from 2018 to 2019.

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“We are sure there are more,” Albao said, adding the bureau had yet to look into records before or after this period. Last year, another Chinese national was arrested by NBI Region 11 for the same offense; his case is now pending in court.

Most of the falsified birth certificates discovered were for Chinese nationals who turned out to be based in Luzon, he added.


Albao said some of the Chinese nationals arrested during recent raids on illegal Philippine offshore gaming operators (Pogos) in Metro Manila, Pampanga, and other regions “got their falsified birth certificates from the Santa Cruz LCR.”

‘Hengson Limosnero’

As to the Chinese national arrested on Tuesday, NBI Assistant Regional Director Jonathan Balite said initial information gathered by the bureau indicated that the man originated from Fujian, China.

Aside from claiming to be born in Santa Cruz, the Chinese national used a Filipino name—Hengson Limosnero”—when he applied for late registration of birth in 2013, Albao said.

“He arrived here at age 9 or 10. He is now 21 and will turn 22 in October this year,’’ Albao said. “We already got his Chinese name but we can’t reveal it yet until we get all his records from the Bureau of Immigration.”

He refused to give straight answers during questioning, Albao said, but investigators found out more about him—like the year he arrived in the Philippines—after talking to his friends and neighbors on Uyanguren Street, Davao City.

“Indirectly [we got the information because] he had friends in Uyanguren,” he said, referring to the old name of Magsaysay Street in the Davao Chinatown. The NBI also learned that the Chinese national’s family operated a hardware store in the area.

Albao said he had talked with the Chinese national’s mother on the phone about the arrest, but that she refused to appear at the NBI office and would rather leave the matter to the family’s lawyer.

The arrested man, noted, could not speak Bisaya, “a language commonly spoken in Santa Cruz. He knows a little of Tagalog but communicates mostly in English. His mother could not talk in Bisaya, either.”

The NBI was set to file charges on Wednesday against the Chinese national for violation of the passport law, falsification of public documents, and perjury, among other crimes.

LCR on the spot

Apart from presenting a falsified birth certificate to the DFA, the Chinese national submitted a driver’s license and an ID card from the Philippine Statistics Authority identifying himself as Limosnero.

According to the NBI official, the man used a falsified birth certificate also to enroll in Ateneo de Davao University, where he is currently taking up accountancy. For his elementary studies, he went to the Philippine Academy of Sakya Davao.

“When asked who helped in his childbirth, he said it was a doctor. But here (in his birth certificate) it was a hilot (traditional healer), so it was clear he was not briefed well (to tell lies),” Albao said.

Albao said inquiries had been made to the Santa Cruz LCR about the documents the Chinese submitted for his late birth registration.

The NBI is considering filing charges against the former head of the Santa Cruz LCR, who Albao said had been suspended two years ago and was scheduled to retire this month.

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“Either they did not scrutinize the documents well, that’s why it went through, or there was really somebody behind it. That will be part of the investigation,” Albao said.


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