The Bureau of Immigration (BI) said an alien’s acquittal on a criminal case does not mean he can no longer be deported for violation of Philippine immigration laws.
This was emphasized by the BI when it ruled on the criminal case of a Swiss-Italian national who, despite his court acquittal, was ordered deported by the bureau for being an undesirable alien.
In a five-page order issued by the BI board of commissioners last May 28, the bureau ordered the immediate deportation of Alfred Josef Honegger, 67, who was found as an undesirable alien for intervening in the management, operation, administration, and control of a restaurant in Cordova, Cebu.
Chaired by BI Commissioner Jaime Morente, the 3-man board concurred with the findings of the Bureau’s Board of Special Inquiry (BSI) that Honegger’s activities deprived Filipinos of jobs and business opportunities which should have been strictly reserved to them.
Honegger earlier sought the dismissal of his deportation case as some of the criminal complaints filed against him were dismissed by the Cebu provincial prosecutor’s office.
Aliens cleared of criminal cases can still be deported – BI
But the BI stressed that the criminal conviction of an alien is not a prerequisite to his deportation because unlike a criminal proceeding, deportation is an administrative action where the evidence required is not the highest quantum of proof beyond reasonable doubt.
It said that the lowest standard of substantial evidence applies in an alien’s deportation as the proceeding is only administrative in character, summary in nature, and need not be conducted strictly in accordance with the rules of court.
“The acquittal of an accused in a criminal case does not bar the deportation of an alien, who has been established by competent evidence to have committed acts contrary to morals, good customs, public order, or public policy,” said the BI. “Conviction of a crime is not necessary to warrant deportation,” the BI further stated.
It added that it found numerous evidence to establish the Honegger is an undesirable alien by intervening in a business strictly reserved to Filipinos.
The BI board ruled that Honegger’s presence in the country poses a risk to public interest and ordered his inclusion in the bureau’s blacklist.