MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Immigration (BI) reminds foreigners to refrain from joining any political activity as they are not allowed under Philippine law.
On its Facebook page, the BI warned legal aliens that they may face deportation if they do so as political protests are expected during the fourth state of the nation address (SONA) of President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday (July 22).
“We are sending this warning to avoid a repeat of the cases wherein we had to deport foreign protesters,” BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said following incidents of deportation of foreign nationals who took part previous mass actions.
The BI Chief said foreigners who are visitors in the Philippines are not given political rights and privileges of Filipino citizens.
“Follow our laws. It is very simple and clear. Foreign visitors are not allowed to partake in political demonstrations. We allowed your stay in the Philippines, please respect our government and our laws,” he added.
Several foreign nationals have been deported for joining and supporting political events in the past.
The most prominent was Australian nun Patricia Fox who, in 2018, was denied renewal of missionary visa for violating the conditions of her stay and participating in partisan politics.
“If found guilty, we will blacklist these foreigners, effectively barring them from re-entering the Philippines,” Morente warned.
MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Immigration (BI) has warned the public to be wary of scammers following the arrest of 13 Filipino passengers bound for Hong Kong caught in possession of fake airline tickets at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
BI Port Operations Division Chief Grifton Medina said the passengers were intercepted last Monday (July 8) at the airline counter of Cathay Pacific at the NAIA 3 terminal.
According to the BI, the passengers were scammed and only found out about it at the airport after the attending airline personnel discovered that their tickets were not encoded in their system.
“It seems that they are victims of a scammers who prey on the public by selling fake tickets at cheap prices to entice their victims,” Medina said.
According to the initial investigation by the BI’s Travel Control and Enforcement Unit (TCEU), the passengers pointed at one of their woman companions as the person who enticed them to buy the plane tickets.
The woman, however, said she was not aware that the tickets were bogus.
She also couldn’t present credentials of the person who offered her the bogus tickets whom she knew only by the name ‘Jennifer’.
BI TCEU Chief Timotea Barizo confirmed also that their hotel bookings were cancelled as well.
“They were also allegedly told to wear T-shirts bearing the name of a herbal product during their trip and were instructed to take off the shirts after they are cleared by Immigration,” said Barizo.
“It was done to make it seem like they were on an official company trip abroad. Why would they be instructed to misrepresent themselves if there was no ill intention?” she added.
Barizo suspects that they have been victimized by illegal recruiters who promised jobs abroad.
All 13 passengers were eventually turned over to the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) for assistance and further investigation.
MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Immigration’s (BI) operations in major airports are now back to normal following the surge in the volume of passengers during the Holy Week break and the magnitude 6.1 earthquake that hit the Central Luzon on April 22.
This was announced by Bi port operations division chief Grifton Medina on Sunday (April 28), adding that the agency’s operations in Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and Clark International Airport (CIA) have already normalized.
“Immigration operations at Clark airport are now back to normal after we resumed full operation on Wednesday following the closure due to earthquake damage,” Medina added.
The BI official also reported that they were able to effectively managed the influx of passengers, including the ones diverted from the CIA, because of the implementation of the personnel augmentation scheme, and the fully functional electronic gates at the airports.
“I’d like to commend our immigration officers in the frontlines for maintaining vigilance and professionalism during the past weeks. Rest assured that we will strive to be a more efficient bureau in the coming years,” he added.
Mediana further said that the immigration officers who were part of the augmentation scheme are now back to the BI main office and other immigration field and satellite offices.
Meanwhile, BI Commissioner Jaime Morente announced that he has ordered the collection of in-kind donations from their employees for the recent earthquake victims.
He said the BI offices in Clark and Angeles will serve as the repository of donations from employees. He had also sent several bureau personnel to assist in the relief efforts.
“We have likewise sent men to assist in the relief efforts. We will be extending help wherever possible,” he noted. –Maris Federez
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