MANILA, Philippines — Police chief Guillermo Eleazar on Saturday ordered the Anti-Cybercrime Group to probe the alleged sale of passport appointment slots that are given free by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).
Eleazar made the directive after DFA Undersecretary Brigido Dulay asked the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the National Bureau of Investigation to expose the individuals behind Facebook pages that offer a swift passport appointment process.
“Inatasan ko na ang ating Anti-Cybercrime Group na imbestigahan at magsagawa ng mga kaukulang operasyon upang mahuli at mapanagot ang mga taong nasa likod nito,” Eleazar said in a statement.
(I already ordered our Anti-Cybercrime Group to investigate and conduct follow-up operations to catch and make accountable the people behind this scheme.)
Hindi natin papayagan na pagkakitaan pa ang ating mga kababayan lalo na ang mga OFWs dahil sa hirap ng buhay ngayon na dulot ng hinaharap nating pandemya,” he added.
(We will not allow our OFWs to be exploited especially during the pandemic where life is already hard.)
Eleazar also encourages the public not to patronize such services.
Appointment slots for all consular services are free, according to DFA.
The DFA has also asked Facebook to identify and take down the said accounts.
Eleazar said the victims of the scam can file their complaints through the various platforms of the PNP’s E-Sumbong.
The PNP’s E-sumbong official text hotline are 09191601752 for Smart, and 09178475757 for Globe users, while information may also be forwarded to their email address at [email protected] or facebook.com/OfficialPNPhotline.