Hontiveros seeks Senate probe into influx of Chinese nationals in PH

MANILA. Senator Risa Hontiveros.
MANILA. Senator Risa Hontiveros.File photo

SENATOR Risa Hontiveros sought on Tuesday, April 23, 2024, an investigation on foreigners who are allegedly using falsified or illegally-obtained documents in order to pose as Filipinos.

Hontiveros filed Senate Resolution 1001, urging the chamber’s Committee on National Defense and Security to look into the matter, particularly the reported presence of foreigners in the country and their national security implications.

She also noted the reported influx of Chinese nationals enrolling in higher education institutions.

A report earlier indicated an increase of Chinese enrollees in Cagayan.

Cagayan Representative Joseph Lara earlier expressed concern on reports that agents or fixers were charging foreign “students” P1 million to enter Cagayan, with 80 percent allegedly going to an agent or fixer, and the remaining 20 percent to the school involved.

Such claim was already denied by local and school officials.

“Sa panahong kaliwa’t kanan ang pag-water cannon ng Tsina sa mga Pilipinong barko, siguro naman may karapatan tayong maalarma. Siguro naman hindi masama magduda (At a time when China is firing water cannons at Filipino ships left and right, maybe we have the right to be alarmed. Maybe it's not bad to doubt). I have led countless Senate inquiries that revealed how foreigners not only abuse our immigration processes, but also use fake documents to obtain birth certificates and Philippine passports. It is only natural that we look into if this trend is, in any way, related to Chinese harassment in the West Philippine Sea,” Hontiveros said.

“The Philippines is always open to young people from all over the world who want to study in our schools. It builds dialogue and global exchanges. Pero ibang usapan pag peke ang papeles at cover lang pala ang pag-enrol sa ating mga paaralan (But it's a different story when the papers are forged and the enrollment in our schools is just a cover),” she added.

Hontiveros also cited in her resolution the discovery of four Chinese nationals who were apprehended in Thailand for posing as Filipinos using Philippine passports, birth certificates issued by the Philippine Statistics Authority, and Philippine Postal Identity cards as reported by the Philippine Embassy in Bangkok.

The National Security Agency is already looking into the matter.

Hontiveros maintained that the Philippines is not for sale and that nobody should treat its national identity like goods to buy or sell.

She also cited an incident wherein agents of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) questioned residents of Multinational Village in Parañaque City over the presence of a large group of foreign nationals, who, at certain times, were allegedly in military formation and would jog around the subdivision while wearing the same black athletic attire, sporting uniform, military-style haircuts.

“Itong subdivision sa Parañaque ay katabi ng NAIA, at limang kilometro lang ang layo mula sa mga kampo natin. Ang Cagayan naman ay malapit sa Taiwan, na itinuturing na potential flashpoint sa Indo-Pacific region. (This subdivision in Parañaque is next to NAIA, and only five kilometers away from our camps. Cagayan is close to Taiwan, which is considered a potential flashpoint in the Indo-Pacific region.) The Senate must investigate these disturbing patterns. Common sense tells us to cover our bases. We can never be too careful,” Hontiveros said. (TPM/SunStar Philippines)


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