(File photo)

MANILA – The Bureau of Immigration (BI) reported the apprehension of foreign nationals misrepresenting themselves as Filipino citizens.

In a statement Friday, Commissioner Norman Tansingco said two more cases of misrepresentation were recorded this month at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

Based on the report of the BI’s Travel Control and Enforcement Unit, 35-year-old female Vietnamese national Nong Thi Luyen and 36-year-old Chinese national Hailan Zhang were stopped on separate occasions before boarding their respective flights.

Nong attempted to leave for Vietnam via a Cebu Pacific Airways flight to Saigon and was apprehended at the NAIA Terminal 3 on Jan. 17.

Nong, who initially presented a Philippine passport bearing a Filipino name, raised the suspicion of immigration officers when she was unable to answer basic details about her identity.

“She later admitted during questioning that she is a Vietnamese citizen and that she last arrived in the country almost two decades ago. Apparently, she wanted to evade overstaying penalties so she resorted to misrepresenting herself,” he added.

The investigation also showed that the Philippine passport Nong presented belonged to someone else.

On the other hand, Hailan, who attempted to depart the country via a Thai airways flight to Hanoi, was intercepted at the NAIA Terminal 1 on Jan. 23.

He initially presented a Philippine passport, and carried identification cards and permits, claiming he was a businessman in the country.

However, the officers noted numerous inconsistencies in his statements. He later admitted his real identity.

The BI’s forensic documents laboratory also certified that while his Philippine passport is genuine, it bore a fake BI departure stamp.

Both were charged with violation of the Philippine Immigration Act and will remain at the BI’s warden facility in Taguig City pending their deportation.

Earlier this month, immigration authorities intercepted a Hong Kong-Canadian national suspected to have misrepresented himself as a Filipino. (PNA)