Immigration authorities nab 332 illegal aliens

Marje Pelayo   •   December 7, 2020   •   300

MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Sunday (December 6) reported the arrest of 332 foreign nationals working without appropriate visas in an operation launched by joint operatives of the BI and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on Wednesday (December 2).

BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said they received information from the NBI-International Operations Division about a worksite in Pag-asa Street, Barangay Dela Cruz, Bamban, Tarlac allegedly employing at least 200 undocumented aliens.

“Upon investigation and verification with our agents, we immediately issued a mission order to effect their arrest,” said Morente.

BI and NBI agents arrested in the operation 323 Chinese nationals; 8 Malaysian nationals; and 1 Indonesian found working by manning computers, using cellular phones, and other electronic devices, without proper working visas.

Morente said their operations reportedly involved online gambling, internet fraud, and cybercrime operations. 

“They were conducting clandestine operations. Their worksite was in a compound that was under construction, and they didn’t leave the premises as they already have their barracks there,” he added.

They face deportation for violation of the Philippine Immigration Act of 1940

All 332 are currently under the physical custody of the NBI pending the filing of appropriate immigration charges and actual deportation.

7 Vietnamese nationals barred entry to the Philippines

Marje Pelayo   •   February 11, 2021

MANILA, Philippines The Bureau of Immigration (BI) at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) has denied the entry of seven Vietnamese nationals found to be misrepresenting the purpose of their travel.

A statement released by the immigration bureau said the seven Vietnamese were intercepted on separate occasions at the NAIA Terminal 2 arrival area after flying in from Ho Chi Minh City and Singapore.

“We intercepted the first batch of three passengers on February 9, and denied their entry to the country,” BI Port Operations Division Chief Atty. Candy Tan stated in her report.

“However, we were surprised to find that another four arrived the following day,” she added.

The officer said the group showed that they were endorsed by an IT and business solutions company in the Philippines. 

However, when asked how they are connected to said company, all seven gave conflicting answers and admitted they only met at the Vietnam International Airport.

“When asked, they had no knowledge of IT or the workings of their alleged company.  They were unable to establish their purpose of travel,” Tan said.

“Hence they were excluded and boarded on the next available flight back to their port of origin,” she added.

The seven were excluded under Section 29(a) 5 of the Philippine Immigration Act of 1940.

BI Commissioner Jaime Morente reminded port personnel to strictly monitor arriving passengers despite the easing of travel restrictions in the country. 

“All immigration officers must strictly assess arriving passengers to ensure the legitimacy of their purpose of travel,” said Morente.

Immigration Bureau arrested 510 illegal aliens in 2020

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 25, 2021

MANILA, Philippines— The Bureau of Immigration (BI) reported that its intelligence operatives arrested a total of 510 foreigners last year for violating Philippine immigration laws.

Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said the foreigners were arrested in various enforcement operations. Majority of those arrested are Chinese nationals caught in the act of engaging in illegal online gaming and cybercrime activities.

“Because of the pandemic and community quarantines imposed, there was a decrease in the movement of aliens,” said Morente. “A lot of foreign nationals also joined repatriation flights back to their home countries,” he added.

BI intelligence chief Fortunato Manahan Jr. reported 32 Chinese nationals in Tarlac last December for illegally working in the country and involvement in cybercrimes. There are also 14 Indian nationals arrested for allegedly overstaying and being improperly documented.

Meanwhile, 14 South Korean and 2 Vietnamese were caught without permits and engaging in unauthorized business activities. AAC

BI to employees: No ‘TikTok’ videos while in uniform

Marje Pelayo   •   December 7, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Monday (December 7) announced that it is banning its employees from posting videos of themselves dancing, singing and performing other acts while wearing their official uniform via the social networking service called ‘Tiktok.’

“Our policy on the wearing of the BI uniform is clear,” BI Commissioner Jaime Morente stressed.

“As public servants and supposed model Filipinos, employees must proudly wear their uniform at all times, present a professional image to the public and observe proper decorum and good taste in all their actions while they are on duty,” he said noting that the prohibition was imposed to strictly enforce the agency’s regulations on the wearing of the BI uniform.

He emphasized that the integrity of the Bureau’s uniform must be upheld at all times because it represents the institution of the Philippine immigration service.

He added that the posting of such videos on social media by BI employees undermines the reputation of the bureau and creates a negative image for the agency’s personnel, especially the frontline immigration officers assigned in the ports of entry.

Morente also warned BI employees that taking such videos of themselves when they are at work constitutes violation of a standing directive prohibiting the use of mobile phones and other electronic gadgets while they are on duty.

It also violates the Bureau’s social media policy which states that: “BI personnel must adhere with the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees with respect to their actions online, and to desist from behaviors that would bring disrepute to public service”.  

All employees were likewise ordered to “observe proper decorum on social media to protect the integrity of the agency”.

The order came after several videos of airport immigration officers on Tiktok surfaced online.  The BI chief described the videos as “reckless” which belittles the image of the bureau.

He warned that employees who defy the ban may be charged administratively for insubordination and conduct prejudicial to the interest of the service.

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