by Philippine Daily Inquirer, 22 Dec 2020
MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Immigration (BI) has placed its employees in the different ports of entry on heightened alert as it warned the public to be vigilant against human smuggling and human trafficking syndicates that might take advantage of the holiday rush despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This is to ensure that our campaign to thwart the entry of illegal aliens and prevent the departure of trafficking victims is not compromised during this Christmas season,” Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said in a statement.
Morente cited the cases of foreigners caught recently at the airports in Manila and Cebu with spurious documents, such as counterfeit Philippine visas and fake marriage and birth certificates. He also cited suspected trafficking victims who were intercepted at Ninoy Aquino International Airport while trying to leave with fake travel documents or in the guise of being tourists. —Tina G. Santos