American nabbed for using fake Philippine passport

AN American national was arrested by Bureau of Immigration (BI) officers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) for attempting to enter the country with a fake Philippine passport.

In a report to Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente, BI port operations division chief Grifton Medina disclosed that 49-year-old Elmer Doller was apprehended early Saturday when he arrived at the NAIA 3 terminal aboard a Qatar Airways flight from Doha.

Medina said the fraudulent passport immediately drew the attention of the immigration officer when he noticed that the document has no security feature and could not be detected when scanned using the passport reader.

“He initially claimed his passport is genuine because his mother is a Filipina.  However, he later confessed that he obtained his Philippine passport from a friend in Cavite,” Medina said. “Thus, for using a spurious travel document he is now in our Bicutan detention center pending prosecution for violating our immigration laws.”

BI’s travel control and enforcement unit (TCEU) chief Erwin Ortañez reported that the passenger could not explain how he became a Filipino when under the 1935 Constitution only those born to Filipino fathers are considered Philippine citizens.

“He also said he did not elect Philippine citizenship upon reaching the age of majority nor has he applied for recognition as a Philippine citizen,” Ortañez said.

Meanwhile, TCEU officers at NAIA terminal 1 apprehended also on Saturday a Filipina passenger who tried to leave the country for Spain with a fake Schengen visa.

NAIA 1-TCEU head supervisor Glenn Ford Comia said the passenger aroused the suspicion of immigration officers after she claimed that she was vacationing in Barcelona for 11 days, although the return ticket and hotel booking she presented was good for only three days.

“The officer also doubted the authenticity of the Schengen visa presented. The BI’s forensic laboratory later certified that the said visa is indeed counterfeit,” Comia said.

The woman, whose name could not be divulged due to a prohibition in the law, was later turned over to the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) for investigation and assistance.