BI denies claims of Filipino woman who missed flight to Singapore
The Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Thursday denied the statements of a Filipino woman who claimed that she missed her flight from Manila to Singapore after being withheld by immigration officials at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) for a “brief” interrogation.
In a phone interview with INQUIRER.net, BI spokesperson Atty. Elaine Tan said Julianne Dela Cruz did not arrive early enough before her boarding time.
Tan said Dela Cruz should not have expected immigration officials to accommodate her the moment she arrived, considering the long queue of passengers.
“It was not as if we told her to set aside and wait for the immigration official,” Tan said.
“That is why we have been advising passengers to arrive at least three hours before the boarding of their flight,” she added.
Tan also denied Dela Cruz’s claim that a certain Ms. Rezano asked for the birth certificate of her deceased grandfather as proof that the person she was going to visit was indeed her relative.
Citing the guidelines on departure formalities for international-bound passengers in all airports and seaports in the country, Tan said the immigration official asked Dela Cruz for the marriage certificate of her father and marriage certificate of her father’s cousin in Singapore whom Dela Cruz was going to visit, to establish the relationship between the two.
Tan said Dela Cruz was asked for the said requirement after she was assessed to be financially incapable to travel in the secondary inspection.
“If not financially capable to travel, an authenticated affidavit of support, indicating therein the relationship within the 4th civil degree of consanguinity or affinity, together with the supporting documents, may be entertained,” the guidelines read.
“Hindi rin po na-establish ‘yung employment niya. So based on the totality of circumstances, she is likely to be a victim of human trafficking. High risk po,” Tan added.
Aside from the primary inspection of passport, visa (if required), and roundtrip ticket, the guidelines said a secondary inspection shall be conducted by the BI “when deemed necessary, for the purpose of protecting vulnerable victims of human trafficking and illegal recruitment and other related offenses.” AU
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