A Chinese man and his Filipina companion who allegedly tried to leave the country for China by passing themselves off as legitimate couple were
intercepted by Bureau of Immigration (BI) operatives at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
According to BI-Deputy Commissioner and Port Operations Chief Marc Red Mariñas, the two passengers were about to board a Cebu Pacific flight to Xiamen last June 8 when they were stopped at the NAIA 3 departure area.
“This is another trick employed by human traffickers to facilitate the travel of their victims. Marriage certificates are procured for the victims so they can leave accompanied by their fake spouses,” Mariñas said.
It was learned that Senior Immigration Officer Julius Caesar Feria, who heads the BI’s Travel Control and Enforcement Unit, found the behavior of the two as suspicious when they presented themselves for inspection at the counter before an immigration officer. The two were later turned over to the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) for investigation.
Mariñas said the woman, whose name could not be revealed as prohibited by anti-trafficking laws, reportedly admitted during secondary inspection that she previously worked as a household service worker for three months in Singapore. She initially claimed that her Chinese companion is her husband whom she married after they became acquainted with each other via the Internet.
“They gave very inconsistent statements when asked about the details of their marriage. The marriage certificate that the passengers presented showed they purportedly married each other inside the office of a travel agency in Divisoria, Manila,” Feria said.