Some foreigners using ‘demanda me’ scheme to prevent deportation – Remulla
MANILA, Philippines — Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla on Monday said some erring foreign nationals are imposing schemes, like filing make-believe criminal charges, to fight off deportation.
Remulla, during the Senate subcommittee on finance’s hearing on the proposed 2024 budget of the Department of Justice (DOJ), said the scheme is called “demanda me.”
“Yung batas ho kasi hindi po pwedeng i-deport hanggat may kaso sila dito. Pero ang nahalata po namin, kalahati po ng nandun nakakulong [ay] may kaso na sila po ang nagpa-file para hindi sila umalis [sa bansa],” disclosed Remulla.
(Under the law, we cannot deport them if they have a pending case here. But we have noticed that half of those who are detained have cases that they themselves have filed against themselves, so they will not leave the country.)
Senators Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel and Nancy Binay proceeded to question the DOJ officials, asking them if it was against the law to deport these erring foreign nationals with pending criminal charges.
Binay even pointed out that there are 18 foreign nationals who have been detained at the Bureau of Immigration’s (BI) center for five years now.
BI Commissioner Norman Tansingco repeatedly stated that the country cannot deport foreigners with pending criminal cases, adding that they have to wait until these criminal cases are resolved, terminated or once convicted and after the service of sentence.
Later into the hearing, Remulla said it would be better if the country had a law that would allow them to immediately waive these cases.
“[K]ung meron ho tayong batas na hindi… lalo na immediately, na pwede ho nating i waive yung cases, makakabuti satin ‘yan. Pero ang mas mahalaga siguro ay malaking penalty sa mga lawyers na mag a-assist ng “demanda me na racket na ginagawa po ng mga foreigners,” said Remulla.
(If we have a law that doesn’t… especially immediately, that we can waive the cases, that will be good for us. But what is perhaps more important is a large penalty for lawyers who will assist the “demanda me” scheme that is being made by foreigners.)
Binay said this scheme has become a business. To this, Remulla agreed.
“Oo pangkabuhayan po talaga, may ‘demanda me’ package po na ginagawa ang mga lawyer minsan para hindi mapa-deport [ang] mga tao,” said Remulla.
(Yes, it has become a business. There is a ‘demanda me’ package that lawyers sometimes do to prevent people from being deported.)