Close  

Sen. Binay seeks Senate inquiry into P200-M hajj passport scam

By: - Reporter / @TarraINQ
/ 02:07 PM August 29, 2016
In this Sunday, Oct. 5, 2014 file photo, the Abraj Al-Bait Towers with the four-faced clocks stands over the holy Kabaa, as Muslims encircle it inside the Grand Mosque during the annual pilgrimage, known as the hajj, in the Muslim holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia's civil defense authority says dozens of people have been killed after a crane collapsed on the Grand Mosque in the holy city of Mecca on Friday, Sept. 11, 2015. AP

In this Sunday, Oct. 5, 2014 file photo, the Abraj Al-Bait Towers with the four-faced clocks stands over the holy Kabaa, as Muslims encircle it inside the Grand Mosque during the annual pilgrimage, known as the hajj, in the Muslim holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia’s civil defense authority says dozens of people have been killed after a crane collapsed on the Grand Mosque in the holy city of Mecca on Friday, Sept. 11, 2015. AP

Sen. Nancy Binay has called for a legislative inquiry into the issuance of Philippine passports to Indonesians traveling to Saudi Arabia for the Islamic hajj piligrimage, saying it had placed national security at risk. 

READ: Foreigners using fake PH passports accosted at Naia

ADVERTISEMENT

Through Senate Resolution No. 111, Binay urged the Senate to investigate an incident where Philippine passports were issued to 177 Indonesians.  She said the anomaly may have involved P200 million, as earlier news reports placed the price tag on the hajj passports at P25,000 each. 

“It was reported that this elaborate scheme costs each Indonesian from $6000 to $10,000 each and thus may involve the greasing of hands inside relevant agencies with jurisdiction over the hajj travelers,” Binay said in a statement. 

FEATURED STORIES

She said “the fraudulent processing and issuance of hajj passports to non-Filipino undermines national security and exposes the Philippines to increasing risk of terrorism.”

Earlier this month, 177 Indonesians were arrested at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport during an immigration check on their way to a flight to Saudi Arabia for the annual hajj pilgrimage. 

The Indonesians were found to be carrying Philippine hajj passports, a special type of travel document issued to those undertaking the pilgrimage to the Islamic holy site, a mandatory duty for Muslims.

The issuance is bound by quotas, and so those of other nationalities who could not be accommodated under their own country’s annual hajj passport issuance limits resort to the acquisition of fake documents. 

The Department of Foreign Affairs is already conducting an investigation. Last week, Maguindanao Rep. Zajid Mangudadatu also called for a House inquiry, saying the issuance of the hajj passport to foreign nationas was a violation of the Philippine Passport Act of 1996. /rga

RELATED STORIES

DFA holds own probe on Indonesians with PH hajj passports

ADVERTISEMENT

PH bars 32 Mecca-bound Indonesians

Read Next
LATEST STORIES
MOST READ
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Hajj Passport Scam, hajj passports, Legislation, Nancy Binay, Senate
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.
technology

Cameras try guess client’s age, gender or mood

April 25, 2019 05:42 AM

globalnation

PH to China: Stay away from Pag-asa

April 25, 2019 05:40 AM

newsinfo

2 moderate quakes rock Davao provinces

April 25, 2019 05:36 AM

newsinfo

5 more bodies found in supermarket ruins

April 25, 2019 05:34 AM




© Copyright 1997-2019 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.