BI eyes deportation case against Chinese woman who hit a Makati traffic enforcer

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 13, 2020   •   312

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) has recommended the deportation of the Chinese woman who went viral for hitting a traffic enforcer and a biker in Makati City.

Immigration acting spokesperson Melvin Mabulac reiterated that foreign nationals staying in the Philippines should also follow the law. There will be no special treatment and no exceptions for them, Mabulac said.

Hindi po ibig sabihin ay isang dayuhan siya ay may espesyal siyang batas. Kung ano ang batas na pinatutupad po sa isang ordinaryong Pilipino, dapat sundin po ng kahit sino pang dayuhan na nandito sa ating bansa, (It does not mean that foreign nationals have a special law. The law followed by an ordinary Filipino should also be followed by any foreign national here in the country),” he said.

Authorities have also discovered that the Chinese woman identified as Dong Li is only under a tourist visa and has not followed the necessary requirements to update her status. The Immigration cited overstaying and disrespect to authority as grounds for deporting Dong.

Basically, dalawa po ang tinitingnan natin. Siya po ay overstaying at the same time, iyong undersirability. Klarong-klaro naman po doon sa social media, at naging viral pa naman, iyong disrespect sa authority. Bawal na bawal po iyan (Basically, we are looking into two (violations). She is overstaying and, at the same time, there is undesirability. It is clear in the viral post on social media that she disrespected a person of authority. That is prohibited),Mabulac said.

The agency already recommended to their legal division the filing of appropriate cases for Li’s deportation. –AAC (with reports from Asher Cadapan Jr.)

3 alleged human trafficking victims intercepted at NAIA – BI

Robie de Guzman   •   August 3, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Three people suspected of being victims of human trafficking and illegal recruitment have been intercepted at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), the Bureau of Immigration (BI) said on Monday.

In a report to Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente, BI port operations division acting chief Grifton Medina said the passengers were stopped last week before they could board their flights to the Middle East and Europe.

Medina said one of the victims was bound for Dubai while the two others were destined for Greece, all of them showing intentions to work illegally as undocumented workers.

According to BI’s Travel Control and Enforcement Unit (TCEU), the Dubai-bound passenger was intercepted last 25 July 2020 after the immigration officer noticed that the Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) was not cleared and validated by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration – Labor Assistance Center (POEA-LAC) desk at the NAIA.

Verification with the POEA-LAC later revealed that the said OEC was tampered as it was issued to someone else and not to the said passenger.

The victim then admitted that her trip was processed by her handlers and that her documents were only given to her when she arrived at the airport.

The BI-TCEU also reported that the two Greece-bound passengers who were intercepted last Saturday, August 2, likewise presented fraudulent travel documents, including fake OECs and local employment certificates.

The bureau said that upon interview, they confessed that their documents were only handed to them at the airport. They also said they were recruited to work in Athens by their handlers to whom they each paid P95,000 in return for facilitating their trip and processing their documents.

“Thanks to the vigilance of our primary inspectors for foiling these attempts by human trafficking syndicates to sneak their victims out of the country,” Medina said.

The victims were turned over to the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) for investigation, according to the bureau.

BI main building’s temporary closure extended to Thursday

Robie de Guzman   •   July 29, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Wednesday announced that its main building in Intramuros, Manila will remain closed until Thursday to give way to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) testing for all its employees assigned there.

In a statement, Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said the temporary closure was extended as only about half of the nearly 700 employees at the bureau’s main office were tested on Monday and Tuesday.

Morente added that the bureau’s General Services Section has also for more time to complete the disinfection and sanitation of the entire four-story building and its premises.

The BI earlier said it was suspending operations at its headquarters after three of its employees reportedly tested positive for the viral respiratory disease.

While BI’s main building is closed, Morente said the public may conduct their business in the bureau’s satellite and extension offices in Metro Manila.

“Those who have registered with our online appointment system will be notified or may inquire about their new schedule by contacting our hotlines that can be viewed at immigration.gov.ph,” he added.

BI reminds Filipinos non-essential foreign travel is banned anew

Robie de Guzman   •   July 24, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Friday reminded Filipinos that non-essential travel overseas is prohibited anew following the government’s decision to re-impose the outbound travel restriction.

In a statement, the bureau said it is re-implementing the ban on overseas travel and that immigration personnel in international ports in the country have already been instructed to impose the restriction as ordered by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

“Again, only essential travel of outbound Filipinos will be allowed. Non-essential travel for leisure and tourism purposes will not be permitted,” BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque on Thursday said the task force decided to reinstate the ban because only one company agreed to provide travel and health insurance coverage in relation to the coronavirus pandemic.

It can be recalled that the task force lifted the restriction on non-essential foreign travel last July 6 subject to conditions, including having a travel and health insurance to cover rebooking, accommodation if they got stranded or their trip got delayed, and hospitalization expenses in case they contracted the viral respiratory disease.

The bureau, however, said it will still continue to allow the departure of foreigners and Filipinos who are overseas workers, holders of study visas, and permanent residents in their country of destination.

BI Port Operations Acting Chief Grifton Medina said essential travel will be permitted to those who are going abroad for medical and humanitarian reasons, and for business and work-related purposes.

He said outbound Filipino travelers must present to immigration officers documents and other proof about the purpose of their travel in order to prove that their trip is really essential.

“However, passengers with bookings until July 20 would still be allowed to leave for non-essential trips abroad,” he added.

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