BI to deport 4 foreign nationals wanted for fraud

Robie de Guzman   •   January 14, 2020   •   330

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Tuesday said it is deporting four foreigners who are all wanted for fraud by authorities in their respective countries.

In a statement, Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said these individuals, three Chinese nationals and one Korean, were arrested in separate operations launched in the cities of Manila and Pasay by operatives from the bureau’s fugitive search unit (FSU).

The three Chinese nationals were identified as Lin Wengao, 41; Zhang Sen, 38; and Zhang Gaosheng, 39.

The BI said the trio was arrested by virtue of warrants of arrest issued by the Chinese government for alleged involvement in economic crimes.

Citing information from the Chinese embassy in Manila, Morente said the three Chinese nationals conspired to forge a seal of a hospital in China as a result of which they managed to defraud their victims of more than 10 million RMB or nearly US$1.5 million.

Investigation revealed that the three aliens arrived separately in the country last year as tourists.

All of them are undocumented aliens as their passports were already canceled by the Chinese government, he added.

Meanwhile, Morente also bared the arrest of Korean national Woo Yong Wook, 45, who is also wanted for fraud by authorities in Seoul.

FSU agents arrested Woo on Friday, January 10 in Malate, Manila pursuant to a warrant of deportation issued against him by the BI board of commissioners.

Woo was ordered deported after the Korean authorities informed the BI that he is wanted for allegedly masterminding a fraudulent investment scheme wherein the victims lost more than a billion Won.

“We will deport them immediately and they will be included in our blacklist to make sure that they won’t return to the Philippines,” Morente said.

BI FSU chief Bobby Raquepo said that the four were the first batch of fugitives to be arrested in 2020.

In 2019, the BI said it arrested more than 400 alien fugitives hiding in the country.

PH Immigration launches online appointment system for clients at main office

Robie de Guzman   •   June 1, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Monday said it is launching an online appointment system for clients in its main office in Intramuros as Metro Manila and other areas in the country transition to general community quarantine (GCQ).

In a statement, Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said the bureau adapted the online appointment system as part of its ‘new normal’ protocols designed to observe social distancing and prevent the spread of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The BI earlier said it will be transitioning to digitized arrival cards and paperless travel systems to minimize contact between passengers and immigration officers amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under the system, only clients with appointment code will be served during the specified date and time of the appointment, and clients will have to present government-issued or valid identification cards before they could enter the bureau’s premises, Morente said.

But the BI chief said that other clients may still avail of the services of the bureau-accredited travel agencies and law offices “if they wish so that the latter may secure the online appointment and transact business on their behalf.”

The complete set of instructions and requirements needed for every BI transaction can be accessed thru the bureau’s website at www.immigration.gov.ph.

Those who have inquiries or complaints are advised to course their concerns through the BI’s online social media platforms and telephone hotlines. The details of which can also be found in the said website.

​Meanwhile, BI OIC Spokesperson Melvin Mabulac clarified that foreigners who are holders of Permanent Resident Visas are not allowed to enter the country under existing travel restrictions imposed by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Infections Diseases (IATF).

Foreign crew members of airlines, as well as from overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), foreign spouses, and dependents of Filipino citizens, and foreign diplomats are allowed to enter the country.

International travel still restricted under GCQ, PH Immigration bureau says

Robie de Guzman   •   May 29, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Immigration (BI) said on Friday that international travel restrictions at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) will still be implemented despite the easing of community quarantine protocols in Metro Manila.

In a statement, Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said that international travel restrictions imposed under the enhanced community quarantine and modified enhanced community quarantine are still in place unless these are lifted or eased by the national government.

“As a consequence, our operations at the NAIA are still downscaled and our personnel there are still on skeletal and rotational deployment,” Morente said.

“Nonetheless, we assure the public that we are always ready to resume full, normal operations in our international airports once the government decides to ease or lift these travel restrictions,” he added.

Meanwhile, Immigration acting port operations chief Grifton Medina said that BI officers at the NAIA currently serve an average of only 20 to 30 flights a day, a third of which are special flights that ferry medical supplies and other kinds of cargo into the country.

As for the passenger flights, Medina said these are mostly repatriation flights that transport returning overseas Filipino workers (OFW) and chartered sweeper flights that bring foreigners stranded here back to their home countries.

Under existing guidelines approved by the Inter-Agency Task Force Against Infectious Diseases (IATF), only OFWs, Filipino citizens and their spouses and dependents, permanent residents, and foreign diplomats are allowed to enter the country.

All foreigners can leave anytime but Filipinos are not allowed to depart unless they are permanent residents or holders of student visa in their country of destination.

Metro Manila will be placed under GCQ beginning June 1 after President Rodrigo Duterte approved the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force to ease quarantine restrictions.

Under GCQ, limited operations of public transportation will be allowed to resume and more businesses are allowed to reopen.

Foreigner accused of quarantine violation in PHL facing deportation

Robie de Guzman   •   May 22, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Deportation charges have been filed against a Spanish national who was involved in a scuffle with a police officer over an alleged violation of quarantine protocols in a Makati City subdivision in April, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) said on Friday.

In a statement, Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said it has charged Javier Salvador Parra for undesirability and overstaying in the country.

Morente said the bureau’s legal officers ordered Parra to submit a counter-affidavit to answer the reports against him, “but he reportedly refused to receive the notice and disregarded the requirement, which was due last May 21.”

“Our offices remained open to receive his response, but he failed to submit any,” Morente said.

The case stemmed from a confrontation between Parra and a police officer after the latter advised the foreigner’s househelp to wear a mask while she was outside watering the plants.

The househelp then went inside the house, and Parra emerged minutes after to confront the policeman that led to an attempted arrest for allegedly violating enhanced community quarantine policies.

The incident that took place in Dasmariñas Village last month was captured in a video and made rounds on social media.

Morente said foreign nationals who “blatanly disregard laws” and “disrespect persons of authority” may be considered undesirable aliens.

“Foreign nationals who are here in the country are expected to follow Philippine laws, especially in these special times wherein public health and safety is at risk,” Morente said. 

“There is no exemption, whether you are living in a posh village, or in a slum area, you must obey the law,” he added.

Morente said that the deportation case is a separate action from criminal complaints that were earlier filed by the police against the Spanish national.

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