MALACAÑANG is throwing the book at former immigration chief Ricardo David Jr. following a complaint against him and other BI officials by a Greek national for alleged violations of human rights including not allowing him to receive medical and dental treatment. Undersecretary Ronaldo A. Geron, Discipline Officer of the Office of the President, directed David in an order issued last July 22 to explain and “show cause why no administrative disciplinary proceeding may be commenced against him” over the complaint against him by Nikolaos Spanoudis, a Greek national. Spanoudis charged that David and two other BI officials denied him medical care between the period March 5 to April 18 this year “by not providing immediate and timely dental care which caused the needless pain and suffering of the former for over 43 days.”
The complainant cited Section 2 of Republic Act 7438, which mandates authorities to allow arrested or detained persons visits or conferences with any member of immediate family, or any medical doctor. Spanoudis also complained against several BI officials for his illegal and arbitrary detention without due process for about 168 days.
David had quit his post before President Benigno Aquino’s State of the Nation Address. Aquino had previously scolded David and BI personnel during the agency’s 72nd anniversary last year over the rampant corruption in the agency and their failures including the escape of high profile fugitives and entry of foreign cybercrime human trafficking syndicate in the country.
Jerlen Payot, a fiancée of , a Greek national, earlier claimed that some Bi agents extorted money from them amounting to P2 million and up to P9 million for Spanoudis’s release from detention despite the absence of any formal charges. In his complaint, Spanoudis, who employs about 400 Filipinos in his own firm and a Filipino son, said that he was charged as “an undesirable alien” “without basis,” denied due process and arbitrarily detained since Oct. 19 , 2012. Also yesterday, wives of detained foreign nationals notably Australian Steve Faris Antonio and American David Lance, of Michigan, at the Camp Bagong Diwa in Bicutan, asked Aquino to immediately address the irregularities at the BI which are detrimental to the government’s campaign to attract more tourists and foreign investments.
Accompanying the distressed Filipino wives was German national engineer Alfred Lehnert who was himself illegally arrested and detained without due process and locked up in jail for 17 months before eventually being released by the Supreme Court after it was found out that he was imprisoned on flimsy grounds and was a victim of extortion with the use of fabricated letter of complaint for adultery.