An American who has become notorious for begging and causing trouble on the streets of Ermita, Manila, is set to be deported.
Victor Didenko, aged 47, had also overstayed his tourist visa and failed to renew his expired US passport.
Speaking today (Sunday, November 19), Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente confirmed that Didenko had been picked up on Friday near the corner of M H Del Pilar and Salas Street by the bureau’s fugitive search unit.
He is now being held at the Bureau of Immigration’s (BI) detention centre at Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City, and will be deported for being “undesirable, overstaying and undocumented” alien.
In a statement issued to the press, Mr Morente said: “Aside from being a notorious troublemaker, he will be deported for holding an expired US passport and overstaying his tourist visa.”
He added that Didenko had become a “burden to society” and been the “perennial subject of complaints by citizens who saw him frequently roam the streets of Manila and Pasay, begging for money from strangers and engaging in acts that disturb the peace”.
He continued: “We cannot allow unruly foreigners like him, who have no means of support, to stay in our country any longer, lest he becomes primarily dependent on the government for subsistence.”
In a garbled message posted on Facebook today, Didenko wrote:
“Hi everyone I have been arrested and put in the immagraition detention center US embassy wrote a letter to the immagraition stating I was an undesirable alien I had a flight booked for Nov 24 now I could be in here for years people in here tell me my embassy is mad at me because I complainedned about them over charging me400dollers for my flight immagraition informed that they the arrested me because of this letter. I am crushed by this so lonely sad and depressed I could surely use some friends.”
Bobby Raquepo, of the BI’s fugitive search unit, said Didenko faced a Manila court in July on a charge of disturbing the peace. He was arrested on Mabini Street for shouting insults against Filipinos and challenging people to fight.
“We also heard that he had been begging from passersby on the pretext that he was robbed of his money and passport,” Mr Raquepo added.
Mr Didenko arrived in Manila in September last year and has been overstaying since March when his tourist visa expired. The US embassy has confirmed that his passport expired last month.
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