Alert Baguio Triage Team rounds up six persons with fake travel documents

10 August 2021 – Alert personnel of the Baguio City Central Triage Unit rounded up six persons who used fake antigen test results to enter the city last Aug. 7.

Baguio City Police Office records showed suspects Christian James Balides Naing, 21 of Quezon City, Milky Chill Candaza, 31 of Bataan, Evelyn Codilla, 30 of Bukidnon, Josephine Ogoc of Parañaque City, Mylene Eran, 31 of Cavite and Princess Bernarte, 24 of Bulacan are facing charges of falsification of document and violation of Republic Act 11332 or “Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act.”

An incident report filed at the BCPO said the six were part of a group of 12 travelers who came to Baguio from Manila to undergo skills assessment for overseas employment.

They were escorted to the triage at the Baguio Convention Center by checkpoint policemen at around 4:45 a.m. for verification of their travel documents.

Upon initial checking, the triage team found that two of the travelers presented antigen test results that bore no dry seal and original signature.

The team then asked the leader of the group to collect all the testing documents and to have the two with suspicious results undergo antigen tests.

However, instead of complying, the group left the site and evaded phone call attempts from the triage staff.

Triage personnel did not give up and finally got through one of the group members. They were summoned back to the triage and told that they have to complete the triage process to avoid violating the city’s protocols.

Upon assessment, the triage team found that six of the 12 had tampered with test results.   They also verified from the laboratory which supposedly did the tests and got confirmation that the individuals did not undergo tests at their clinic.

The six were made to undergo antigen tests since they came from areas under Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) status and one of them turned out positive.

The antigen-positive person underwent the RT-PCR test as a matter of procedure.  Her 11 companions were also swab tested being close contacts.  They were later endorsed to one of the city’s isolation facilities.

The triage team reported the incident to the BCPO for investigation and filing of charges.

Mayor Benjamin Magalong said the city and the BCPO are collaborating in investigating the incident based on evidences of documents confiscated.

The mayor said the city anticipated incidents like this to happen and this is why checkpoint and triage units have been put on alert and advised to be discerning in their scrutiny of travel documents especially in face of the imminent danger of the Delta variant.

He said the city and the BCPO will continue to work closely to build a strong case against persons using fake documents to enter the city.  – Aileen P. Refuerzo