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Foreign terrorists posing as Filipinos monitored



GENERAL SANTOS CITY- Authorities have intensified intelligence monitoring on foreign terrorists who passed themselves as Filipinos while imbedded with local terrorist groups operating in Mindanao.

An intelligence official working for the government’s counter-terrorism agency said they had retrieved documents purportedly issued by concerned government agencies that showed suspected foreign terrorists were issued with Philippine birth certificates by submitting spurious documents required for birth certificate registration.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the official said the issuance of the certificates of birth for foreign nationals was being facilitated by their local contacts within the local terror groups.

“Vetting on the face value of the birth certificates, the documents are officially  registered with the Philippine Statistics authority,” the official noted.

He said this has caused alarm for security forces who have been pursuing foreign terrorists who are imbedded with local ISIS-inspired terror groups in Mindanao.         Early this week, government forces intensified military operations in major strongholds of ISIS-inspired Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters in Maguindanao which resulted in the death of at least 17 terrorists including a suspected Arab national.

The official said the registration of the birth certificates which were issued to suspected foreign terrorists was traced to the laxity on the government’s procedure in admitting late registrants who apply for birth certificates.

Local civil registrar Dexter Imperial admitted that personnel of the Local Civil Registry Office lack the technical capability to verify and validate documents which were submitted to their office by the applicant as requisites before the issuance of the birth certificate.

He said the required documents in the application of birth certificate include baptismal certificate and form 137 school credential which are not subjected to diligent validation and verification.

The applicants are not also required to personally appear before the office of the Local Civil Registry, Imperial said.

Marifi De Asis, supervising statistical analyst of the Philippine Statistics Authority, stressed that all data and documents submitted to their office by the LCR are presumed to be authentic. (Joseph Jubelag)