Unbelievable, what Immigration Commissioner Siegfred B. Mison has to put up with at his bureau.
But no, the West Pointer and a lawyer through and through Mison refuses to put up with the remnants of the rotten system at BI.
Here’s a case study of how the old hands work the foreigners in that office in Intramuros.
Chinese national Wang Bo was intercepted by immigration authorities upon his arrival at the NAIA last Feb. 5, and was held upon discovery that he is a fugitive from mainland China.
Immediately, Wang’s name was included in the BI blacklist of undesirable aliens.
China Consul and Police Attaché Fu Yunfei, in a letter dated Feb. 15, 2015, informed BI that Wang is wanted for heading an “illegal online-gambling operation” and that his Chinese passport has been cancelled.
Wang was detained at the BI facility in Taguig City and subjected to deportation proceedings on charges under Commonwealth Act 613, Sec. 37 and Act 2711, Sec. 69.
On March 5, a Summary of Deportation Order was issued by the Immigration Board with Commissioner Mison, as chairman, along with associate commissioners Abdullah Mangotara and Gilbert Repizo.
The Chinese national reportedly engaged in illegal “transnational network gambling” in mainland China with satellite connection to a Manila firm called “Skybet.”
In his succeeding appeals to stop his deportation, Wang denied the allegations against him made by the Chinese Embassy.
He noted that he was never restricted from traveling and no warrant of arrest or legal document were issued indicating any formal charges against him.
Interestingly, Wang possessed a Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) work visa with a two-year validity from May 4, 2013 to May 4, 2015 through an employer called ELC Technology Consulting Co. Inc.
It turned also out that the fugitive has been in the country repeatedly since 2008 and that he had been issued a CEZA visa in 2009.
How did he manage to enjoy staying here and coming in and out with a CEZA visa all these years?
How much does it cost for a fugitive to get a CEZA visa?
Due to the “lack of authenticated documentary evidence” on his alleged criminal case in China, the Immigration on Thursday, May 21, granted Wang’s motion for reconsideration and decided to “set aside” his deportation order.
Mangotara and Repizo lobbied Mison to grant Wang a reprieve, my BI sources said.
It would have been Wang’s lucky day when he expected to be released on bail.
On the same day, however, Chinese Police Attaché Fu Yunfei personally submitted official letters stating that Wang is wanted for the crime of illegal gambling and that his passport has been officially revoked.
Attached to the dignitary’s letter was a copy of the arrest warrant with details of Wang’s criminal case.
The Commissioner maintained that the letters of the Police Attaché are admissible under the rules of documentary evidence in a court of law.
Wang’s summary deportation order was reinstated.
Doing what is right, Mison stopped Wang’s release despite strong objections from Mangotara and Repizo.
After being vetoed by Mison, the two associate commissioners “in behalf of Wang” sought the intervention of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima.
Why are the No. 2 and No. 3 BI officials playing “godfathers” to this gambling lord, Wang?
Mison stood pat on his position that the statement of the Chinese Embassy constitutes substantial evidence that Wang is a fugitive.
I agree with Mison that Wang is undocumented and an undesirable alien who poses a danger to public interest.
What the hell is wrong with these two associate commissioners of the Bureau of Immigration (BI)?
They shamelessly insist on letting loose Wang Bo and contradict Mison’s order to deport him. Perhaps, I asked the wrong question in the first place.
Instead of asking what’s wrong with Mangotara and Repizo, I should have asked, “How much?”
How much does it take to change the high-ranking officials’ mind about deporting a notorious fugitive?
Well, doing what’s right, the honorable Justice Sec. De Lima upheld Mison’s decision to deport Wang.
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Ironically, the Mison was targeted in a smear drive where he caused the release of another Chinese national returned after being previously deported for overstaying.
It turned out that after earning a reprieve in consideration of his Filipino family ties, he was harassed by a group of immigration intelligence officers who demanded P2 million so they would leave him alone.
Aside from the two suspended BI intelligence officers, suspended in connection with the case, at least eight more immigration officers have been implicated.
It’s as clear as the sunny skies that malfeasance and corruption emanate from BI’s ranking officials all the way down the rank and file.
But Mison is not alone in his “Bad Guys Out, Good Guys In” gig at BI.
He has found a way to inculcate professionalism that has given rise to a “new culture” at BI.
I’m not such a big fan of Noynoy’s Matuwid na Daan but I salute this new breed of matuwid na lingkod-bayan over at BI offices.