US court stops deportation of Marcos-era general who plotted Aquino coup

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Marcos and Aquino
US Court Stops Deportation of Marcos Era Ex-General – www.philippineslifestyle.com

A Filipino ex-general accused of trying to overthrow the Philippine government in the late 1980s, has won a reprieve from the immigration board’s order that he be removed from the United States as soon as possible.

Ex-General Jose Ma. Zumel was accused of participating against overthrowing the government while President Corazon Aquino was leading the country.

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Tuesday’s ruling was supposed to determine whether the judge’s decision was wrong, but instead conducted its own review of the facts and reached the opposite conclusion that there was intent to endanger life and property.

The Board of Immigration Appeal’s sole duty was to see that no terroristic threats were being put forth when Zumel was attempting to overthrow the government.

In it’s final reading the court said: “The BIA may determine that an (immigration judge’s) factual findings are clearly erroneous if the findings are ‘illogical or implausible,’ or without ‘support in inferences that may be drawn from the facts in the record.

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“If the BIA reviews the (immigration judge’s) factual findings de novo instead of for clear error, or makes its own factual findings, it has committed an error of law.”

Circuit Judge Sandra Ikuta sent the case back down to the board of reviews after finding what she calls “erroneous facts.”

Zumel was a general in the Philippine Air Force. He was fully loyal to Aquino’s predecessor, Ferdinand Marcos, according to the findings of the 9th Circuit Court ruling.

The coup Zumel was accused of helping to map-out was put forth with the help from the United States government.

Zumel was eventually granted amnesty by the Philippine government and became a permanent US resident in 2001, under President George W. Bush.

Immigration officials said Zumel’s application falsely stated that he had never been charged with violating any law in the United States or anywhere else in the world.

Zumel also stated he had never been the beneficiary of ‘amnesty’. Immigration initiated proceedings to have him removed from the United States.

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