Metro Manila · Bureau of Immigration warns foreigners against joining protests

Bureau of Immigration "/var/ezdemo_site/storage/images/media/manila/images-manila/local-life/bureau-of-immigration/551621-2-eng-GB/Bureau-of-Immigration_zoom_image.jpg" 2000 1015 Bureau of Immigration

In a statement on its website, the Philippine Bureau of Immigration (BI) advised foreign tourist visa holders not to take part in protests and mass actions such as the pork barrel rallies.

It can be risky for foreigners to express their political views alongside Filipinos. Two foreigners have recently been detained and deported for participating in protests during the president´s State of the Nation Address (SONA). A Dutch citizen who had been photographed hackling a crying policeman was deported last month. A Canadian student was detained at NAIA Airport last Friday, September 13, and was deported two days later. According to her lawyers, the young woman had joined the SONA rally as a mere observer. 

After deportation, foreigners are not allowed to enter the country again. "As we have repeatedly stated, foreigners have no business joining these rallies as the act amounts to violating the conditions of their stay as tourists", said BI Officer-in-Charge Siegfred Mison. Police will monitor the presence of foreigners on rallies.

Immigration Law

The Philippine Immigration Law states that following aliens, among others, can be arrested and deported:

  • “Any alien who remains in the Philippines in violation of any limitation or condition under which he was admitted as a non-immigrant; “

and

  • “Any alien who believes in, advises, advocates or teaches the overthrow by force and violence of the Government of the Philippines, or of constituted law and authority or who disbelieves in or is opposed to organized government, or who advises, advocates or teaches the assault or assassination of public officials because of their office, or who advises, advocates, or teaches the unlawful destruction of property, or who is a member of or affiliated with any organization entertaining, advocating or teaching such doctrines, or who in any manner whatsoever lends assistance, financial or otherwise, to the dissemination of such doctrines;”