The Bureau of Immigration (BI) said its personnel in the country’s ports remain on alert to thwart any attempt by international terrorists to enter the country.
“Our personnel in all international airports and seaports nationwide are always on alert to prevent these foreign terrorists from slipping into the country,” Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said in a statement.
Morente bared that immigration officers are extra cautious in allowing the entry of foreign nationals with doubtful purpose. He said aliens deemed as likely to become public charge or pose threat to public safety are subjected to secondary inspection.
“Those who fail to satisfactorily explain their purpose in coming are turned away and booked on the first available flight back to their port of origin,” Morente added.
Morente assured that the BI continues to maintain a database of suspected international terrorists, and any attempt by them to enter the Philippines will surely be foiled by immigration inspectors at the port of entry.
“We have a shared database with numerous local and international intelligence agencies including the Interpol. This database and other derogatory files are integrated into the electronic system, regularly updated, and is used by our immigration officers in processing and conducting arrival formalities for passengers, thus allowing us to detect such attempts,” the BI Chief explained.
BI on alert to thwart entry of foreign terrorists into PH; screens with international database
Morente added that due to ongoing travel bans following the Covid-19 pandemic, the entry of aliens remain restricted.
The BI issued the statement following reports of terror threats on some countries in Southeast Asia.
Local authorities, however, said the reports have yet to be confirmed and validated, and assured that said information is being investigated and taken seriously.
Earlier, the Japanese embassy confirmed that their government had received information about a possible terrorist attack in Southeast Asia, including the Philippines.
“We confirm that the Japanese government has received information about a possible terror attack, but we cannot give you any detailed background at the moment,” according to a statement released by the Japanese Embassy on Tuesday.
“In relation to this, we issued a warning to alert Japanese people residing in some Southeast Asian countries, but we cannot disclose the source,” it added.