In a press release, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) confirms their support for the alleged mistreatment of two Filipino women in the hands of immigration officials in Indonesia who suspected them to be drug mules. The DFA is working with the Philippine Embassy in Indonesia to conduct an investigation to verify if there's a basis to file a protest.
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The issue came to the attention of the government after one of the two Filipinas, who was incidentally a blogger, posted in her blog her "traumatic" experience when they visited Bali, a popular tourist destination in Indonesia last May. According to her, although there are many other nationalities in their flight, they were singled out by the immigration officers for an extensive interrogation and luggage and bodily inspection for no apparent justification.
They were held in the immigration for more than an hour but were allowed to leave after they failed to find anything against them. The experience has become so traumatic to both of them spoiling their supposed-to-be-happy vacation.
The blog post quickly received emphatic rage from commenters who complained against what appears to be a "racial profiling" of Filipinos in the country.
Indonesia is considered to be Philippine's closest neighbor and ally in the region so any act of "racial profiling" and unjust treatment against Filipinos should be taken seriously.
Reminders for Filipino Travelers
The government is urging every Filipino travelers to be prepared for cases similar to this. Although this is not a common incident, everyone should take the necessary precaution when traveling to foreign lands. It is very important to know beforehand the contact numbers and other ways to contact the embassy of the Philippines in case you need their help.