US, Australia help immigration bureau in anti-terror campaign

MANILA The United States is ready to assist the Bureau of Immigration (BI) in its anti-terrorism campaign through training and exchange of intelligence information.

This was pledged by Undersecretary for Intelligence and Analysis, David Glawe, of the US Department of Homeland Security during a recent meeting with Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II and BI Commissioner Jaime Morente.

A statement issued by the BI Friday said Aguirre welcomed the US government official's visit as a positive step towards enhancing the Philippine government's capability to effectively wage the global war against terrorism.

This will require us to work closely with our allies and maintain good working relations with them as we share knowledge and resources for the eradication of a borderless menace, Aguirre said, noting that the war on terror requires a multi-faceted and multi-pronged approach.

Also during the meeting, Glawe and his team agreed to strengthen the cooperation between the Philippines and the US in areas related to counter-terrorism, such as advanced passenger information-sharing, intelligence sharing, and sharing of databases on blacklisted and watchlisted terrorists.

The US team also reportedly promised to train BI personnel on Biometric Screening, Fraudulent Document Training, and internet/social media monitoring.

Both parties have expressed their respective commitments to foster closer ties and to explore other areas of possible collaboration in the future.

Meanwhile, Morente said that aside from US assistance, the bureau's personnel have been receiving continuous training on anti-terrorism and document fraud detection from the Australian government.

He noted that the US and Australia have been active partners in the global campaign against human trafficking and they have been instrumental in upgrading the capability of BI employees in detecting fraudulent documents and identifying trafficking victims and their couriers.

Meanwhile, BI chief personnel officer, Grifton Medina, said that aside from the US and Australia, member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and other international organizations, such as the Asian Development Bank, have also been providing training and cooperative efforts to share best practices in upgrading competencies, improving performance management, and fostering good governance.

Source: Philippine News Agency

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