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Police assure strict scrutiny on foreigners in Zamboanga

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As part of safety and security measures in the city, the local police authorities have placed foreigners in Zamboanga under close watch for possible links to terrorists or any threat groups.

Insp. Edwin Duco, spokesman of the Zamboanga City Police Office, said as a result of this security measure, two Indonesian nationals were found to have illegally acquired a driver’s license from the Land Transportation Office (LTO).

Duco said that two Indonesians, whose identities were not immediately known, were charged with falsification of public documents for claiming to be Filipinos as indicated in their LTO-issued driver’s license, notwithstanding they are foreigners.

Early on, he said both Indonesians were considered as persons of interest by the intelligence investigators as they were acting suspiciously while checking in a hotel.

Upon investigation, Duco said the two foreigners were found negative for linkage with any threat groups, except that they were in possession of LTO-issued driver’s license, despite being foreign nationals.

“They only violated a local law which is falsification of public documents for possession of LTO-issued driver’s license despite being foreigners,” Duco said during the press briefing.

He likewise did not confirm nor deny reports that Iranian intelligence agents are in Zamboanga City.

The police official, however, has assured the public that due to what has been happening in Marawi, where foreign terrorist are allegedly participating in the firefight with government troops, they are closely monitoring on foreigners in the city.

He also said the declaration of martial law in Mindanao did not obstruct the local police from their usual law enforcement functions.

The police were able to conduct 308 checkpoints for the week, 8 of which were manned 24/7, conducted 16 anti-illegal drugs operations resulting in the arrest 16 persons, and confiscated 50 sachets of shabu, excluding the three packs with a street value of P300,000.-(Vic Larato)