Bureau of Immigration Update

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Detention CenterBureau of Immigration (BI) Commissioner Siegfred B. Mison encouraged foreign nationals currently held at the BI Warden Facility (BIWF) to identify immigration personnel who are allegedly involved in irregular or illegal behavior. Mison urged members of the “Foreigners for Justice” to come out and identify the jail guards and personnel allegedly involved in extortion, cruelty, and brutality, assigned at the BIWF in Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City. “Please give us the details so that the alleged erring bureau personnel will be dealt with accordingly,” Mison asked the members of the group. As of last December, there are about 168 foreign nationals temporarily held at the BI Warden Facility (BIWF). Topping the list of jailed foreigners are the Taiwanese with 44 detainees, the Chinese with 33; Koreans, 18; 16 Americans; and 10 Indians. The members of the “Foreigners for Justice” allege the reasons why they are afcing deportation is that BI officials denied them due process of law.

However, in an interview they admitted that they were victimized by their business partners or are simply overstaying. All foreign nationals in the BIWF are temporarily held on the basis of a deportation order or at the very least, a charge sheet. Despite a final deportation order, some foreigners still remain at the BIWF by reason of pending criminal cases. “We cannot simply implement a final deportation order against a foreigner with a pending case before our local courts, so as not to frustrate our criminal justice system,” Mison said. The Public Attorney’s Office and the National Bureau of Investigation has recently conducted an outreach program and rendered legal counseling to the foreigners in the BIWP. On the part of the bureau, Mison said that the Bureau has drafted an Operations Order pending approval of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima to address foreigners subject to a final deportation order but with pending criminal cases. He said the Bureau also sought assistance from the legal aid offices/clinics of the Ateneo law school and UP Diliman College of Law. The Bureau is continuously evaluating foreigners subject of a deportation order who are married to a Filipino spouse, those with simple overstaying cases, those caught in possession of fraudulent papers, and those who are allegedly victimized by BI personnel or unscrupulous third persons.