BI says foreigners who will join protests face deportation
MANILA, Philippines — Bureau of Immigration (BI) Commissioner Jaime Morente on Wednesday warned foreign nationals not to join any partisan political activities and demonstrations while in the country or risk being deported.
Morente issued the warning ahead of the State of the Nation Address (Sona) of President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday, July 22.
“We are sending this warning to avoid a repeat of the cases wherein we had to deport foreign protesters,” Morente said in a statement.
“Joining political demonstrations is an utter display of disrespect to the country’s authorities, and is equivalent to meddling in our internal affairs as a sovereign nation,” he added.
It could be noted that in 2018, the BI ordered the deportation of Australian nun Patricia Fox for participating in partisan political activities during her stay in the country.
Aside from Fox, the BI also deported other foreign nationals for joining protests. These included Dutch citizen Thomas van Beersum, Canadian student Kim Chatillon-Miller, Zimbabwean Tawanda Chandiwana, American Adam Thomas Shaw, and Miracle Osman from Malawi.
“Follow our laws. It is very simple and clear. Foreign visitors are not allowed to partake in political demonstrations. We allowed your stay in the Philippines, please respect our government and our laws,” Morente said.
Morente also clarified that while it is within the BI’s policy to welcome foreign visitors, the BI is also duty-bound to implement the law by deporting foreign protesters.
“Foreigners have no business joining such activities as it is a clear violation of their conditions of stay,” he added.
Under BI Operations Order No. SBM-2015-025, it states that foreign nationals are prohibited from “joining, supporting, contributing, or involving themselves in whatever manner in any rally, assembly, or gathering.’ /muf
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