Immigration officers and agents at the Ninoy Aquino International Airports (NAIA) and other ports of entry were placed on heightened alert for the upcoming Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) leaders’ summit and other preparatory meetings currently being held in various venues in and outside Manila.
Bureau of Immigration’s port operations division chief Marc Red Mariñas raised the alert order to thwart the possible entry of international terrorists who could create disorder during the international event in the country.
The Philippines is hosting next month’s ASEAN Summit to be attended by heads of state from various countries, including the US, Japan and China.
Mariñas said Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente has instructed Immigration officers to conduct strict arrival and departure formalities and rigid primary inspection on passengers and crew, including those of special and chartered flights.
Mariñas also ordered personnel assigned to the BI’s border control and intelligence units (BCIU) to not only monitor and ensure that all passengers pass inspection but also assist in “profiling” them.
He said suspicious-looking passengers and those with doubtful purposes in visiting the country should be referred and meticulously subjected to secondary inspection by members of the bureau’s Travel Control and Enforcement Unit (TCEU).
Members of the BI-Interpol unit at the NAIA were instructed to maintain open line of communication with the bureau’s counter-terrorist group (BI-CTG) and intelligence division as well as with their counterparts from other government agencies.