GRAFT charges have been filed against Bureau of Immigration (BI) Commissioner Siegfred Mison before the Office of the Ombudsman for his alleged link to the “entry for a fee, fly for a fee” racket that allows undesirable aliens or those with criminal records to enter or leave the country at will in exchange for millions of pesos in bribe money.
Aside from the graft charges, Mison, along with seven other Immigration officials and several John Does and Jane Does, were also charged with violation of Republic Act (RA) 6713 or The Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees, violation of the Administrative Code of 1987 and violation of Commonwealth Act 613 or the Philippine Immigration Act of 1940.
The seven other immigration officials were identified as a certain IO (Intelligence Officer) Lunas and TCEU (Travel Control and Enforcement Unit) de Leon, a certain supervisor Miss Mariano, a certain BMSU (Border Management and Security Unit) official, a certain Cayetano, Office of the Commissioner technical assistant and lawyer Norman Tansingco, and airport head Maria Rhodor Abrazaldo of Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1.
The case against Mison and company stemmed from the illegal lifting from the bureau’s “blacklist order” of Yuan Jian Chua alias Wilson Ong Cheng, a Chinese.
The complaint was filed last April 21 by immigration intelligence officer Ricardo D.L. Cabochan, a resident of Quiapo district, Manila.
In his 14-page complaint-affidavit, supported by seven pages of official documentary evidence, Cabochan disclosed that Yuan was arrested by Immigration officials on November 6, 2013 in Cebu City and deported on January 22, 2014 for being an undocumented alien and “fraudulently representing himself to be a Philippine citizen” to evade the requirements of immigration laws.
As a consequence, the Chinese’s name was also included in the immigration’s blacklist, which barred him from reentering the country for at least one year.
On March 11, 2015, Yuan arrived at the Ninoy Aquino Internatioal Airport (NAIA) Terminal I but was denied entry and excluded for the reason that his name was on the BI’s blacklist.
But an hour later after Yuan arrived, he was allowed entry allegedly on the verbal instruction of Mison.
“ . . . records from the Centralized Query Supports System (CQSS) confirms that he was allowed only on the sole basis that the terminal head in the person of Maria Rhodora T. Abrazaldo [was]verbally instructed by a certain “sbm” thru a certain “Atty. Tansinco,” the document said.
“The initials “sbm” [are]the customary and official designation/appellation clearly referring to Commissioner Siegfred B. Mison, while the name “atty. Tansingco” refers to Atty. Norman G. Tansingco, technical staff of the Office of the Commissioner,” it added.
But a verification made with the CQSS on March 19, 2015 or 8 days from the time the Chinese was allowed entry on March 11, 2015, the blacklist order issued against the subject remains “active,” which means that it has not yet been lifted or canceled.
The complainant pointed out that it is a basic rule in immigration practice that an alien previously deported is barred from reentering the territory of the deporting State.
“As an exception, upon proper application, the Bureau of Immigration may waive previous deportation order and allow an alien to reenter, provided the reentry and readmission of the alien has been duly approved by the Commissioner of the Bureau of Immigration,” he said.
Cabochan pointed out though that the waiver of exclusion cannot be extended because of the express prohibition of Section 29 of Commonwealth Act 613 to those convicted for violating Sections 45 and 46 of the same law.
It is surprising, he noted, that despite the fact that Yuan has been charged, convicted and deported for violating Section 45 of CA 613, the subject was allowed entry and admission, reversing his previous exclusion.
“In allowing is admission and the automatic cancelation of his exclusion and blacklist order, respondent Mison breached time honored protocol and rules and regulations concerning the lifting of blacklisted deportees,” Cabochan said.
Furthermore, as confirmed and attested by the CQSS, no waiver was obtained from the office of Mison “prior” readmission of the subject alien because even after the lapse of eight days after he entered the country, the blacklist order issued against him remains active and uncanceled.
“This shows not only that there is an apparent motive to rectify or cover up the alleged fiasco from the prying eyes of the public but also reveals that the entry which was encoded only on the 23 of March is merely an afterthought, the complainant said.
Immediate reversal of exclusion order and lifting of the blacklist order without proper formalities violate Immigration Administrative Circular SBM-2014-001, which Mison himself issued.
Under the circular, those who were deported on the ground of being undocumented or improperly documented shall wait for the lapse of 12 months or one year from the date of actual implementation before the office of the Immigration commissioner can give due course to the motion to lift the blacklist order.
“No written requests addressed to the commissioner was filed. Even assuming that a request letter exists, no justifiable or meritorious reason exists [that]will justify the waiver of the periods so prescribed by the circular,” Cabochan pointed out.