The Bureau of Immigration (BI) said it barred from entering the country 35 foreign nationals who are registered sex offenders (RSOs) in their respective countries.
BI Commissioner Jaime Morente, however, said that due to travel restrictions, the number of alien RSOs intercepted last year was lower than the 160 sex offenders who were denied entry in 2019.
“When encountered by our officers at the ports these sex offenders are immediately turned back and booked on the first available flight to their port of origin,” Morente explained.
He disclosed that under the Philippine immigration act, foreigners convicted of crimes involving moral turpitude are to be excluded upon arrival in any of the country’s port of entry.
An RSO refers to a foreigner previously convicted of a sex crime in his country, who has finished serving his sentence or is out on parole or probation.
Many of them are convicted pedophiles charged and found guilty of molesting minors.
In the United States and other Western countries, governments maintain a sex offender registry that allows authorities to trace activities and movements of their RSOs.
“We will continue to ban the entry of these sex offenders into the Philippines as they pose a serious threat to the well-being of Filipino women and children,” Morente said.
35 alien registered sex offenders barred from entering PH in 2020
It was learned that the BI regularly obtains information on RSOs from its foreign counterparts so that they are immediately placed in the bureau’s blacklist to ensure that they are prevented them from entering the country.
Last month, BI operatives also arrested a Korean wanted in his home country for operating an online prostitution advertising site.
BI Commissioner Jaime Morente announced the arrest of Seo Jungnam, 41, in an operation conducted in Amor Riverside Anunas, Angeles City, Pampanga by operatives of the BI’s Fugitive Search Unit (BI FSU).
The operation, in coordination with Korean authorities, was conducted upon receipt of information that Seo is a fugitive in Korea, with an Interpol Seoul Notice issued this December.
According to BI FSU Chief Bobby Raquepo, Seo has been in the country since 2015 and is a suspect in a sexual exploitation and prostitution case in Korea for allegedly placing prostitution advertisements online, as well as in business areas.