• CA junks petition of undesirable American

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    THE Court of Appeals (CA) has dismissed the petition filed by an American who had been allegedly detained and abridged of his liberty by Philippine immigration officials.

    In a 10-page decision, the tribunal denied for lack of merit Ross P. James’ petition for writ of habeas corpus and writ of amparo against then Immigration chief Ricardo David and Commissioners Siegfred Mison, Ronaldo Ledesma, and Abdullah Mangotara.

    “Wherefore, premises considered, the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus is denied, and the instant petition is dismissed for lack of merit,” the decision, penned by Associate Justice Rebecca de Guia-Salvador, said.

    Immigration authorities offloaded James, an American tourist, at the Clark International Airport while attempting to leave the country. He refused to check-in an empty motorcycle fuel tank that he wanted to hand-carry.

    He had an altercation with a senior supervisor of the aircraft company, who later charged him with direct assault, harassment and unjust vexation.

    James eventually departed via Cebu Pacific Air bound for Thailand. But his name was placed in the blacklist dated April 17, 2013.

    Despite petitioner’s name being in the blacklist, he was allowed to enter the country on November 9, 2013. He was intercepted at the NAIA Terminal 4 while attempting to depart on November 12, 2013 and has been in detention since then.

    Immigration officials declared James to be an undesirable alien on November 21, 2013 and ordered his immediate deportation. His name remained in the blacklist.

    This caused James to file his petitions asking the court to order the respondents to produce his body and to summon them to show cause of his detention and to restore his liberty.

    He further asked the court to order David and others to further him with the documents and other records connected to the case.

    In view of the urgency of the case, the Supreme Court referred to the appellate court for appropriate action on the James petition.

    In the ruling, concurred by Associate Justices Ramon Garcia and Danton Bueser, the court said James’ petition was not the appropriate remedy.

    “[W]ith petitioner’s arrest and ensuing detention being by virtue of the Deportation Order lawfully issued by the BOC, the writ of habeas corpus is not an appropriate remedy to relieve him from the restraint on his liberty,” the CA held.

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