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Life Philippines

Immigration Winning The War On Philippines Borders.

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Building on their successes with human trafficking prevention, where everyone concedes still there’s much more to be done. BI reports two more major successes as proof they are winning the war on the borders of this country.

Stopped Entry

The first is the detection and refused entry of 133 convicted child abuse perpetrators in 2017. These are not guys put on the register for urinating in public or one of the other anomalous outcomes of overzealous policing and interpretation of a law. They are hardcore multiple offenders who unable to practice their deviant behaviour in their own country without a good chance of being caught, look for less policed and easier prey in the Philippines.
I hope that the wasted fare and the public humiliation of being turned back will discourage them from trying again here or elsewhere.


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Stopped Exit

Maybe more relevant were the 2300+ Expats who were refused exit when attempting to leave the country. The aliens were in three categories. Those on:

A Hold Departure Order.

What It Is?
  • A Hold Departure Order (HDO) stops an individual from exiting Philippine territory.
  • A criminal case should be pending before the Regional Trial Court (RTC).
  • You may be either:
    • The accused, irrespective of nationality, in criminal cases falling within the jurisdiction of courts below the Regional Trial Courts (RTCs).
    • An alien whose presence is required either as a defendant, respondent, or witness in a civil or labor case pending litigation, or any case before an administrative agency of the government.
    • Against any person, either motu proprio*, or upon the request by the Head of a Department of the Government; the head of a constitutional body or commission; the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court for the Judiciary; the Senate President or the House Speaker for the Legislature, when the adverse party is the Government or any of its agencies or instrumentalities, or in the interest of national security, public safety or public health.
    • *In law, motu proprio (Latin for: “on his own impulse”) describes an official act taken without a formal request from another party. Some jurisdictions use the term sua sponte for the same concept.
  • An HDO should contain the following:
  • What It Should Contain.
    • The complete name of the person against whom a Hold Departure Order has been issued.
    • A full list of all known aliases, if any or if known.
    • Date and place of birth.
    • Last residential address in the Philippines.
    • Passport details.
    • Recent Photograph.
    • The complete title and docket number of the case in which the HDO was issued.
    • Details of the case/
    • The date of the Hold Departure Order
    Who Issues It
  • Either the Secretary of Justice or the Regional Trial Courts may issue an HDO.
  • The Bureau of Immigration is tasked with enforcing said orders.
  • The RTC issuing the Hold Departure Order provides both the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Bureau of Immigration (BI) with a copy each of the HDO issued within twenty-four (24) hours of issue using the fastest available means of transmittal.
  • The Rights If The Person Named
  • If you are the subject of such an order you:
    • Should receive a copy of the order at your last known address.
    • You may also present your passport at the Clearance and Certification Section of the Bureau of Immigration. There is a fee involved
  • the Hold Departure Order is valid for five (5) years unless terminated, reckoned from the date of issuance.
    • The HDO may also be terminated when:
      • The accused subject of the HDO:
        • Has been allowed to leave the country during the pendency of the case.
        • Has been acquitted of the charge.
        • The case has been dismissed.
        • The warrant recalled.
      • When the civil, labor or administrative case where the need for the presence of the subject of the HDO:
        • Has been dismissed.
        • Is discharged as a witness.
        • Has been allowed to leave the country. (Section 5, Department of Justice Circular No. 41.)

A Watchlist Order

  • A Watchlist Order (WLO) places the person on a list of those who cannot leave the country without first seeking clearance from the Department of Justice (DOJ).
  • It Is issued by The Secretary of Justice in criminal cases which are pending preliminary investigation or petition for review before the Department of Justice.
  • It should contain all the information required of an HDO (listed above).
  • A WLO is valid for sixty (60) days unless terminated. It may be extended for a non-extendible period of not more than sixty (60) days.
  • If you are the subject of such an order you:
    • Should receive a copy of the order at your last known address.
    • You may also present your passport at the Clearance and Certification Section of the Bureau of Immigration. There is a fee involved
  • The WLO will be terminated when:
    • When the WLO expires
    • When the accused subject of the WLO has been allowed by the court to leave the country during the pendency of the case.
    • The accused subject of the order has been acquitted of the charge.
    • When the preliminary investigation or petition for review or motion for reconsideration is terminated.

Aliens Who Are The Subject Of Ongoing Deportation Proceedings

  • These are usually Aliens who either:
    • Do not realise that they are the subject of such proceedings at least officially.
    • Understand that deportation proceedings have been initiated. The person has engaged an attorney who has kept them out of jail. Yet they still decide to try and leave to avoid fines or possible eventual incarceration.
  • The details of such aliens are available to immigration officers through lists such as:
    • Mission Orders. These are orders issued by the BI Commissioners to verify complaints against aliens and if verified to arrest or apprehend the alien pursuant to taking legal action against them. The list of Mission Orders is available to BI officers at exit points from the Philippines.
    • Deportation Warrants. Are issued upon receipt of information from other sovereign states that an alien is wanted by that state on criminal charges. The process of deportation is usually on a formality.
    • The Philippines government requires an NBI clearance stating that the alien has no outstanding legal business within the jurisdiction. This includes outstanding immigration fees and fines.

The Moral Of The Story

The Philippines Bureau of Immigration is clawing its way into the 21st century. The holes in the system of 10 or even 5 years ago are rapidly being closed.
Messing with Immigration can be costly to your pocket, to your freedom and to your ability to remain here.

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