The Philippine Embassy in Kuala Lumpur said Monday that it does not accept applications for hajj passports nor process such passports.
The Embassy issued this clarification in light of a news report that hajj passports used by a number of Indonesians and some Malaysians were allegedly "released by the DFA and some by the Philippine consulate in Malaysia."
The Embassy only accepts and processes applications for regular passports which have a five-year validity. Unlike a regular passport, a Hajj passport is valid for one year and can be used only to participate in the pilgrimage.
There is also no Philippine consulate in Malaysia other than the consular section of the Embassy, it added.
"We wish to assure the public that the Embassy exercises due diligence when processing passport applications, which includes requiring proper documentation and undertaking personal appearance and interview in order to ascertain the identity of the applicant and the veracity of his supporting documents," the Embassy said.
There are up to 2.5 million Indonesian nationals in Malaysia and Malaysians of Indonesian heritage. The syndicate operating in the Philippines and Indonesia may have also reached and victimized Indonesians in Malaysia who wish to undertake the hajj.
The Embassy will continue to coordinate closely with the DFA Office of Consular Affairs, the Bureau of Immigration and other concerned law enforcement agencies in ferreting out individuals and groups who may be in Malaysia and who may be in cahoots with the syndicate. The Embassy is working closely with concerned law enforcement agencies in ensuring that once found guilty, the said individuals and groups will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
Source: Philippine Information Agency