The Bureau of Immigration arrested 276 mainly Chinese people during a raid in Makati City amid a crackdown on illegal foreign workers.
Commissioner Jaime Morente said today (Tuesday, February 19) that yesterday’s mass arrest was conducted after receiving reports that there were foreigners working in the building without immigration visas or permits.
“Our operatives immediately conducted a surveillance to verify the report. Once they confirmed the presence of these aliens in the building, a Mission Order to conduct the operations was immediately issued,” he said in a statement.
BI spokeswoman Dana Sandoval the nationalities of the illegal workers was still being verified. “Not yet confirmed as most were undocumented when arrested and verification is still ongoing,” she said. “But as per their submitted information, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Taiwanese.”
BI Intelligence Division chief Fortunato Manahan said the foreigners were arrested for verification of their travel documents and immigration status, describing them as mostly engaged in online gambling.
“Most were undocumented, and were unable to present any proof showing their status here during the arrest. If proven to be working here without the proper visa, may be charged for deportation,” he added.
The case has been forwarded to the Bureau’s Legal Division for verification and filing of appropriate charges, while they have been detained at already over-crowded Bicutan detention centre pending deportation proceedings.
Crackdown on illegal foreign workers
Morente commended the Intelligence Division for the series of arrests of foreigners.
“Our intel has been working non-stop to catch foreigners who make a mockery of our laws. I commend them for their efforts, as they are crucial in protecting our country from illegal aliens,” he said.
He also warned that this was “only the beginning” of more operations against illegal foreign workers.
“We are serious about our drive against illegal aliens, and are focusing our energies on arresting those working without the proper documentation, stealing jobs from Filipinos,” he said.
In 2018, the Intelligence Division arrested a total of 533 foreigners, mostly found to be working without permits.
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