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Lauro Baja and The ‘Other’ DFA

July 7, 2008

Ask any old-timer at the Department of Foreign Affairs and you’ll learn, not in whispers, how there has existed , for the longest time, the ‘other DFA’ where authentic, but fake Philippine passports can be had sat prices ranging from P5,00 to P15,000, complete with all the official trimmings.

How is this possible? Unless a miracle of miracles has taken place overnight, the proliferation of fake authentic passports continues to be a cottage industry, thanks to the ‘established’ passport spoilage allowance (read:quota) of 70 passports per day. 70, not 69, but 70.

And this allocation is ‘dutifully’ achieved each day, except Saturdays and Subdays, of course, with the DFA continuously using not organic but ‘project-basis’ employees who do the ‘highly-technical’ task of beautifully writing in script form such passport entries as required by law, given that the security-sewn’ passports are “protected” against forgery and such.

This holds as well even for the brand new ‘machine-readable’ passports!

It is also no surprise that the eminent ambassador Lauro Baja, with his wife touting his “imblemished” record on the foreign service, is expressing “shock” over the “lies,all lies.”

And surely they will not allow anyone, much less a ‘maid’ to besmirch their reputation and that of their New York-based and family-owned Labaire Interrnational Travel. Address: 60 E 42nd St Rm 758, New York, NY 10165-0703, United States

Such cannot be allowed lest it impact negatively on Labaire’s ‘preferred status’ as travel services provider at the DFA. Never mind questions about conflict of interest, right?

So now the Bajas are preparing to protect their good name and will sue poor Marichu Suarez Baoanan.

By the way, no less than a former high-ranking (superior to Baja) foreign affairs official had called Malacanang’s attention several years back about rampant talk revealing Mr. Baja’s alleged wheelings-and-dealings.

But nothing came out of it except that the good ambassador being promoted to a higher, though non-existent office at the head office in the old Asian Development Bank building.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. July 7, 2008 3:42 pm

    How convenient that a diplomat has an travel/recruitment agency on the side….

  2. July 8, 2008 12:50 pm

    Since we first posted this story several insiders at the DFA have called to inform us that the Baja travel agency even has a bull office building on the Makati stretch of the South Luzon Expressway not too far from Roxas Boulevard.

    We are also told that when Baja held the rank of undersecretary, Labaire Travel had an active ‘accounts payable’ folio with the finance section, with no less than the good wife of the ambassador “making sure billings were serviced promptly”.

    Business is business, right?

  3. chiec permalink
    July 18, 2008 1:56 am

    I’m shocked to find out about this news few weeks ago…but I’m not surprised. God definitely has His own way on revealing things when its time.

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