Bureau of Immigration Commissioner Ronaldo Geron has fired an ‘confidential’ investigative agent of the BI for carrying out an unauthorised investigation of a British man.
“Your contract as confidential agent is terminated effective immediately due to gross violation of office rules and (for) undertaking an unauthorised operation resulting (in) loss of trust and confidence,” Geron said in a letter to Emmanuel Ambrona, who had served as a confidential agent for several years.
Trevor Fawcett, a British man, was at the centre of the firing – after Ambrona visited the expat at his home in Silang, Cavite to investigate the legality of his stay in the country on an Resident Retiree’s Visa.
Fawcett told authorities that he cooperated with Ambrona, showing him his passport with his PRA Visa and ID valid until August 2018.
Fawcett said he became suspicious when Ambrona started asking questions about his finances – particularly those related to the amount of money he sold his British company for.
The expat also said that Ambrona took photos of his Filipino girlfriend, saying “that I thought it was unnecessary.”
Fawcett wrote a letter to Geron asking if Ambrona was in fact a legitimate investigator for the BI.
Geron told reporters on Thursday that while the Bureau of Immigration did background checks on foreign nationals within the country, this should have been done discreetly.
“When we checked, there was a letter order… requested by (intelligence) people regarding a case buildup for Trevor William Fawcett. This should have been a basic check on foreign residents… for inventory purposes, especially those who have not been seen or have not reported for sometime, as a way of helping the PRA,” Geron said.
“But this should have been done discreetly. This can be done by checking through the barangay,” Geron added.
Geron stressed that a “fishing expedition” into a foreign resident’s immigration status was not allowed.
“And he should have been accompanied by a permanent BI employee. But he went there alone. Fawcett said he felt so vulnerable, he felt so harassed. And why take a photo of his girlfriend?” Geron said.
Asked if charges would be filed against Ambrona, Geron said it would be up to Fawcett.