MANILA (Mabuhay) — The Bureau of Immigration (BI) is conducting an investigation to determine if foreigners who participated in the protest rally last Monday during the State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Aquino have committed acts that might be a ground for their deportation.
“We are verifying their identities and visa status and if there is basis to initiate deportation proceedings against them,” said Immigration Officer-in-Charge Siegfred Mison in a statement.
So far, the BI has identified Dutch national, Thomas Van Beersum, 30, who was photographed taunting a crying policeman at the rally’s dispersal line.
The photos of PO1 Joselito Sevilla who broke down and cried after refusing to strike back at the rallyists were published in newspapers and went viral on social media.
The foreigner’s insults at the policeman and his publicized open letter to the policeman drew angry reactions from the public and calls for his deportation.
On the other hand, Mison explained that the alien demonstrators can be deported or ordered to leave if they commit acts that constitute “overthrowing the government, unlawful destruction of property and violation of the conditions of their stay.”
Aside from deportation, the BI can also order the aliens to leave after which they will be blacklisted and banned from re-entering the Philippines.
The BI chief noted that temporary visitor visa holders have no business joining protest rallies as it is tantamount to meddling in the country’s internal political affairs.
Meanwhile, Atty. Ma. Antonette Mangrobang said that Beersum arrived in Manila as a tourist last June 13 and was admitted for an initial stay of 21 days.
She added that Beersum was not supposed to join the rally because it meant violating the limitation and condition of his admission and stay as a temporary visitor and non-immigrant. (MNS)