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No Filipinos arrested in Malaysia crackdown
22 Jan 2013
MANILA, Philippines – No Filipinos have been arrested in the crackdown against illegal foreign workers in Malaysia which began Tuesday, January 21, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said. “We have not received reports of Filipinos being arrested or detained in connection with the crackdown of illegal foreign workers in Malaysia,” DFA spokesman Raul Hernandez said in a briefing Wednesday. The Philippine Embassy in Malaysia warned Filipinos there to ensure their immigration papers are in order and are with them at all times. There are about 700,000 overseas Filipino workers in Malaysia including those in Sabah, Hernandez said citing a report to Congress in early 2013. The number of undocumented workers however, was difficult to estimate precisely because of their nature as being unregistered, he said. Philippine Ambassador to Malaysia Eduardo Malaya previously urged Filipinos “to make sure that their immigration or work documents are in order, and to carry with them proper documents, notably work permits or passports with valid visas, to avoid inconvenience in case of immigration checks,”. The crackdown by the Malaysia government against illegal foreign workers, dubbed “Ops Bersepadu” was announced last January 10 by the Malaysian Foreign Ministry. Filipino immigrants are known to be able to go illegally into the Malaysian province of Sabah through the southern Philippine province of Tawi-Tawi, which is around 50 kilometers away by sea.
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