After the firing of two Bureau of Immigration agents this week, BI Commissioner Siegfred Mison assured the public that corruption within the ranks of the bureau was being carefully watched.
Yet, this week a prominent Korean businessman, Kang Tae Sik from Makati City, has been arrested by BI agents.
The story begins when attorney Alex Tan filed a complaint with BI officials on June 26, 2015. BI agents filed a ‘deportation notice’ based on the formal complaint filed against Kang
An original complaint was filed and has gone through years or court hearings, it originated some time prior to 2006.
Kang however is not facing any criminal offences and is not a fugitive from law.
Kang is currently represented by counsel, Atty. Redentor S. Viaje – filing his own formal complaint that members of BI’s Intelligence Division arrested Kang is his Makati City office based on a warrant of deportation filed by BI.
Attorney Viaje said the warrant is premature, since the deportation case against Kang is still pending before the Department of Justice.
Viaje said: “Apparently, the warrant of deportation was issued on the request of an unnamed person whose letter is attached with the assailed warrant.
“The BI cannot legally issue a warrant of deportation unless a deportation case is final and executory. An alien, according to the law and Supreme Court decisions, still has the right to appeal his case before the DOJ secretary up to the Office of President or Court of Appeals. In this particular case, there is not yet a resolution by the secretary of DOJ with regards to the appeal.
“This unscrupulous issuance of warrant of deportation is not novel as there was already precedents wherein immigration officials were ordered dismissed and penalised.”
BI officials charged Kang with violation of an immigration law provision after his former counsel informed BI that Kang was convicted of violating BP 22 (bouncing cheques law) nearly 20 years ago and was sentenced to 10 months in prison.
But the plot thickens when it has now been learned that the complainant put up their own trading company and is now directly competing with Kang’s business.
Kang’s case before the Department of Justice is also trivial seeing that the violation of BP-22 cannot be a basis for deportation within the Philippines since the law says that the penalty for such offences must be based on the term of one year or above (imprisonment for the term of the offence).
Viaje said that in 2007, Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 13 issued an order considering the penalty against Kang to have proscribed and ordered the lifting of his hold departure order.
Based on the argument above, Justice Secretary Leile de Lima ordered the case remanded to BI for evaluation of the noted argument, but on May 21, 2015 the bureau issued a resolution ordering the deportation of Kang based on a new charge – this time for being an “undesirable alien.”
Atty. Viaje filed a motion for reconsideration, reiterating that the order of deportation based on a new charge is a gross violation of his client’s right to due process and questioning how Kang can be considered an undesirable alien when his corporation is among the top 1,500 taxpayers in Makati City.
On September 16, 2015, the motion for reconsideration was again denied by BI officials and is now pending in the Department of Justice.
Kang and his counsel are now appealing to the new DOJ secretary to scrutinise deportation cases, citing the case of Chinese fugitive Wang Bo, where the Chinese ambassador had been pressing for his deportation.
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