THE Bureau of Immigration (BI) had barred more than 500 foreign pedophiles from entering the country during the last two years.
Newly appointed Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente disclosed over the weekend that all 514 foreign sex offenders or pedophiles were stopped by immigration authorities upon their arrival at Ninoy Aquino Inetrnational Airport (NAIA) and immediately loaded to the next available flight back to their countries or origin.
Morente said the foreigners were intercepted as an offshoot of Operation Angel Watch, a joint initiative of the BI and US government that was launched to prevent American registered sex offenders (RSOs) from entering the Philippines.
RSOs pertain to Americans who have been convicted of crimes involving sexual abuse of children and who have finished serving their sentence or were freed under probation.
“This project aims to prevent these sex convicts from entering our borders as they pose a potential threat to Filipino minors whom they might sexually abuse or exploit,” Morente said.
It was learned that as a result of the Angel Watch’s success, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently cited the BI for the noticeable decline in the number of pedophiles who were denied entry at the NAIA.
“For the past three years, the number of US registered sex offenders traveling to the Philippines has dramatically decreased directly due to the relentless efforts undertaken by your vigilant Bureau of Immigration Angel Watch team, that denied entry to these child predators and pedophiles,” Juan Bortfield, the DHS’s deputy attaché in Manila, stated in his letter to Morente.
Lawyer Ma. Antonette Mangrobang, BI spokesman, revealed that of the 514 pedophiles who were barred entry from 2014 to 2016, 400 were Americans, 80 were Australians, 29 were Britons and the remaining five were of various nationalities.
Mangrobang said immigration officers at the NAIA and other ports of entry have been ordered to strictly monitor arriving foreigners by ensuring that those who are in the BI’s blacklist of undesirable aliens are apprehended and booked on the first available flight to their ports of origin.