Probe sought on foreigners owning land, duping banks

Probe sought on foreigners owning land, duping banks

/ 05:38 AM March 28, 2024

Faustino Dy V


House Assistant Majority Leader Faustino Dy V is seeking a congressional inquiry on how foreigners were able to own land and defraud local banks by posing as Filipino citizens, claiming these exposed the country’s security and economy to potential risks.

The Isabela 6th district representative pointed out that at least two committee hearings in the House of Representatives showed that a number of Chinese nationals in Pampanga and Isabela were able to buy and sell large parcels of land and disappear after taking out loans from local banks.


READ: Carpio cites PH laws on foreign ownership of businesses


In filing House Resolution No. 1629, Dy said: “It is feared that these spurious schemes of foreign nationals could be happening not only in the provinces of Pampanga and Isabela, but also in other parts of the country.”

Mexico, Pampanga

According to the lawmaker, certain foreign individuals have managed to deceptively acquire landholdings in the country by posing as Filipino citizens.

He pointed out that during a probe by the House committee on public accounts on the procurement process in Mexico, Pampanga, it was discovered that a Chinese national was able to sell parcels of land to the municipal government, which then used public funds for the purchase.

Dy said that a hearing held by the House committee on dangerous drugs on the P3.6 billion worth of “shabu” (crystal meth) seized in Mexico town in Pampanga also showed that the warehouse from where the narcotics were confiscated was allegedly owned by a foreigner who was supposedly in cahoots with a Chinese national in acquiring vast areas of land in the province.

Illegal acquisition of IDs

“In the province of Isabela, there are reports of Chinese nationals who took out business loans from several banks in the province and who thereafter disappeared once the loaned amount has been released to them,” he said, adding that these Chinese nationals were involved in the operation of huge warehouse businesses in Isabela before they took off with the money to the prejudice of their creditors.

In HR 1629, the lawmaker likewise cited a Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) report confirming that there were foreigners who were able obtain Philippine passports by assuming Filipino identities and presenting “authentic and genuine” Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) birth certificates and “valid” government-issued IDs in their applications.


“Representatives from various government agencies, including the DFA, PSA, Land Transportation Office and Bureau of Internal Revenue are in agreement that this is a pressing issue that requires collaborative effort and solution,” Dy stressed, adding the urgent need for the integration of systems that would allow agencies to quickly validate the authenticity of documents.

“There is a pressing need for a thorough scrutiny and auditing by the Commission on Audit of the financial expenditures of various government agencies to ensure that their allocated resources are effectively utilized in combating this threat to national security,” he noted.

Dy urged the appropriate committee of the House to conduct an investigation to “resolve this most pressing issue and to ensure the integrity of the Constitution, the sanctity of Filipino citizenship and the upholding of national security.”

Barbers sees ‘mafia’

Surigao del Norte Rep. Robert Ace Barbers, who chairs the House committee on dangerous drugs, early this month urged local chief executives, the PSA, the Bureau of Immigration and other concerned agencies to be wary of a group of Chinese nationals supposedly engaged in illegally acquiring Philippine passports for their compatriots who could then pose as legitimate Filipino citizens and traders.

Barbers had brought up the possibility of a “Chinese mafia” behind the scheme following a House committee on public order inquiry on the importation of 530 kilograms of shabu involving a Chinese national, a “Willy Ong,” who was issued a genuine but apparently illegally acquired Philippine passport, a unified multipurpose ID, or UMID card, and a driver’s license from the Land Transportation Office.

The UMID card is a single valid ID that can be used to transact with the Social Security System, the Government Service Insurance System, the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. and the Home Development Mutual Fund, or Pag-Ibig Fund.

Operations in more provinces

“We have it on record during our investigations on the 530-kilo shabu haul in Mexico, Pampanga, that Willy Ong managed to secure a birth certificate indicating that he is a Filipino. Ong’s cohorts or the Chinese mafia who work for him presumably were able to secure a Filipino birth certificate via ‘late registration’ with certain LGUs (local government units). With his forged Filipino birth certificate, Ong was able to secure a Philippine passport and other government-issued IDs,” Barbers said.

Ong also reportedly managed to register his real estate company, Empire 999, with the Securities and Exchange Commission to engage in several huge land acquisitions in Mexico, Pampanga, where he and his compatriots built a gasoline station, four large warehouses and other structures.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

Barbers also pointed out that he received other reports that Chinese nationals with forged Filipino IDs were engaged in huge lands acquisition sprees in Bulacan, Palawan, Zambales, Isabela and other parts of the country, establishing warehouses and other businesses.

TAGS: Foreigners, House, probe

© Copyright 1997-2024 | 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.