Estrada seeks probe on foreigners’ use of PH gov’t IDs

(ABS-CBN) MANILA — Government agencies must conduct a thorough investigation on foreigners using legitimate Philippine government identification as it poses a serious threat to the nation’s interest, Senator Jinggoy Estrada said Monday.

“That’s a cause for alarm already dahil matagal ko nang nababalitaan nito na pati yung mga passports, ang iniisyuhan yung mga Chinese nationals na hindi naman marunong managalog. Alam mo, dapat talaga imbestigahan  lahat ito dahil our national security is at stake here at hindi naman biro ito,” Estrada said in a phone interview.

(That’s a cause for alarm already because I’ve been seeing news that there are Chinese nationals using Philippine passport even if they do no know how to speak Tagalog. That should be investigated because it concerns our national security which is not a joke.)

Estrada, chairman of the Senate Committee on Labor and Employment, specifically made the call to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

Foreigners’ reported use of government IDs was uncovered by the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission (PAOCC) in raids conducted on Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) hubs.

Such discovery, along with evidence linking POGos in criminal activities, has resulted in the Senate Committee on Ways and Means’ submission of its panel report that recommends the total shutdown of POGOs in the country.

Ejercito admitted that he has yet to sign the report because he is “still studying the situation.”

But he insisted: “Kailanging palawakin yung investigation ‘yan dahil alam mo, siguro may mga sindikato na umiikot dyan. And I believe so. I am inclined to believe so.”

(The investigation should be expanded. Because I am inclined to believe that there is an involved syndicate there.)

As to the reported massing up of Chinese students in Cagayan province, Estrada said that the people should not be blamed for having such fear given that the area hosts EDCA (Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement) sites.

“Marami naman ng foreign students ang pumupunta dito sa atin para mag-aaral. Hindi lamang yung mga Chinese nationals. Maraming nga mga Koreano nag-aaral din dito sa ating bansa. Pero kung ang dami o pagdagsa nila sa isa o piling lugar lamang, may rason para mabahala tayo o magtanong kung bakit sa isang lugar lang,” Estrada said.

(Many foreign students are going here to study, not only Chinese nationals. Even Koreans come here to study. But why is it that they are massing in just one place?)

“Marami naman tayo yung universities or colleges na dekalidad sa iba’t-ibang panig na ating bansa. Bakit sa Cagayan ang concentration ng mga dumadayong Chinese students kung saan may dalawang EDCA sites tayo. Kaya ang tanong lang, nagkataon lamang ba ito?,” he asked

(We have so many universities or colleges in the country with quality educational system, but why is it that many Chinese students prefer to be in Cagayan where there are two EDCA sites? Was it just incidental?)

Estrada said such concern is legitimate and should not be taken as “racial profiling.”