PH bars 32 Mecca-bound Indonesians


 MANILA, Philippines—Thirty-two Indonesians who were supposed to go on a pilgrimage to Mecca using Philippine passports were barred from entering the country by the Bureau of Immigration (BI).

The BI said its personnel in Tawi-Tawi has uncovered a scheme by a Mindanao-based syndicate which provides Muslims with Philippine passports so they can avail of the quota for the Hajj allotted to the country by the Saudi Arabian government.

The scheme was apparently devised by a syndicate who wants to profit from foreign Muslims who could not make it to the pilgrimage because the quota allotted to their country has already been filled up.

The Indonesians recently arrived at the Bongao port aboard MV Mid-East but were turned away by immigration border crossing officers who interviewed them on the purpose of their travel to the Philippines, the BI reported.

With the help of an Indonesian immigration officer stationed at the Bongao port who acted as interpreter, the Indonesians confessed that they had planned to apply for Philippine passports upon arrival to the country so they could avail of the quota for the pilgrimage allotted to the Philippines by the Saudi government.

They said they would temporarily stay at a shelter where they would be taught to speak Sinama, the local Tawi-Tawi dialect, while awaiting the release of their Philippine passport.

The Hajj pilgrimage is a religious duty carried out by every able-bodied Muslim who can afford to do so at least once in his or her lifetime.

The number of pilgrims who can come to Mecca every year is regulated by a quota system for each Muslim country.

Immigration Commissioner Ricardo David Jr. already issued an order alerting all BI personnel in the different ports of entry to be on the lookout for foreigners suspected of involvement in the scheme.

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  • philspratly

    another scam !

  • Jesse_Bruce_Pinkman

    Saudi Arabia should increase the quota for Indonesia. FYI, It is only the most populous muslim country in the world, if the Saudi government hasn’t known that yet.

    If Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) were alive today, what would he say to that? People doing something bad just to go to Mecca? It defeats the purpose.

    • Julio7

      That’s a good advice. However, KSA had allocated every country a number of pilgrims according to their population. Assuming that Indonesia’s pilgrims were already full and that the Philippines’ pilgrim were not yet maximize to its capacity, they (The Office of Muslim Affair) should advise KSA that they can give their unused allotted slot to those who need it such as Indonesia.

      We don’t know brother, that those in need to go to Makkah will be their last chance this year and their life might not reach the next Hajj.

  • md’c™

    How can these morons apply for a local PI passport without an authenticated birth certificate and NBI clearance? Are they in drugs or shabu? Abort send them back to their fµçked up lands.

    • ApoNiLolo

      There’s nothing impossible, even a birth certificate and NBI clearance, when “money talks”. >: D

    • 1GeorgeTolentino2

      There is no country called Philippine Islands

  • alex ca

    hindi naman kasi strikto ang panggobyerno ngayon kaya ok lang…

  • johnlordphilip

    The government should run after those in BI, foreign affairs and local muslim leaders who are involve in this scheme. Otherwise, this problem will never go away if they just keep on running after the victims.

  • carpediem123

    execute the maggot DFA corrupt employees who “expedited” the passports for this fiasco. that’s where the problem lies. all the other noises simply cloak the root of the problem. why is it that until now, nobody has been jailed by this administration from massive ranks of the crooks in the bureaucracy? you need just spit in any agency and you will surely hit one of the usual suspects. wtf de lima? are you that inept? or you are not really one of the crusaders for justice as you try to project? is it laziness then? whatever it may be, i have lost confidence on you, manay. an example like “Lim Seng” had to be done to convince everyone this daang matuwid is really credible. it is futile to wish that all these corrupt cretins in the govt. will follow the good example of former angle reyes of blowing their brains out? dream on….

  • takeno12

    There is ‘room’ for those Indonesians in Mecca, it’s just that it is reserved for Filipino Muslims who won’t be traveling there anyway.
    I agree with a previous poster, the Philippines should give their unused quota to Indonesia as a gesture of goodwill.

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