The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Friday warned the public to be vigilant against any form of passport irregularities.
This came after reports came out of foreign nationals attempting to secure a Philippine passport from the DFA consular office in Lucena.
In a statement, the DFA said the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) was tapped to arrest the suspects for violation of the Philippine Passport Act of 1996.
DFA Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs Neil Ferrer said staff of the DFA’s Lucena office fended off threats or bribes offered by the foreigners and instead immediately coordinated with the NBI.
He said the agency will remain alert with the kinds of motives as violators will be sanctioned in accordance to the law.
Investigations will also be conducted in other consular offices in the country including those that were detected at the central DFA consular office in Aseana, Parañaque.
As stated in Republic Act 8239, penalties of this law include a minimum fine of P60,000 until P1 million along with imprisonment of six years to seventeen years depending on the severity of the case.
“The department looks forward to the results of the investigations and possible prosecution of these foreigners and other individuals involved in the attempts to circumvent our laws in order to gain rights given only to Filipinos,” the DFA said.
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