BI-NAIA to create anti-terror task force
- Sandy Araneta () - August 15, 2004 - 12:00am
The Bureau of Immigration (BI) is planning to create its own anti-terrorism task force to be deployed at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), a top bureau official said yesterday.

Ferdinand Sampol, head supervisor of the BI-NAIA, said Immigration Commissioner Alipio Fernandez is considering tapping a military man to be a consultant of the bureau.

"The anti-terrorism campaign should be in close coordination with all the Philippine government’s agencies," Sampol said.

He said Fernandez feels that the right agency to go to is the military, being the lead agency in the anti-terror campaign of the government.

Although the plan is still yet in its initial stages, Sampol said the military consultant will be stationed at the head office of the BI in Manila. He noted that the appointee will only serve on a "consultancy basis only."

The anti-terrorism unit at the BI-NAIA will be headed by Cresencio Ablan, and will be under the task force’s supervision.

Sampol said that when the plan pushes through within the year, there will be no military personnel assigned at the NAIA. He said all anti-terror task force personnel of the BI will be organic employees of the bureau.

Sampol added that said the immigration bureau’s Personnel Identification Secure Comparison and Evaluation System (PISCES) will also be upgraded and fitted to their needs.

PISCES is a system created by the US and used in airports worldwide. In the Philippines, it is a tool used in the anti-terrorism program of the bureau, involving a data bank of photos, fingerprints of all individuals that need to be subjected to secondary inspection at the NAIA.

Sampol said they also have a watchlist as requested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) following the 9/11 terror attack in the US .

He said there is close coordination between the US and the Philippine government when it comes to the anti-terror campaign.

Sampol said Fernandez is also planning to create a task force on illegal drugs and another on human smuggling.

The three teams will be operational within the year, he said.

"These will be created, and their functions implemented within this year. Fernandez is also drafting the memorandum regarding the units," he said.

ANTI BUREAU BUREAU OF IMMIGRATION CRESENCIO ABLAN FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION FERDINAND SAMPOL FERNANDEZ IMMIGRATION COMMISSIONER ALIPIO FERNANDEZ IN THE PHILIPPINES NINOY AQUINO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT SAMPOL
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