HK journalists off BI blacklist

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Citing an evaluation by the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA), the Bureau of Immigration (BI) has lifted a blacklist order against nine Hong Kong journalists who allegedly heckled President Benigno Aquino 3rd in Bali, Indonesia, during the 26th Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in 2013.

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BI spokeswoman and lawyer Elaine Tan on Tuesday said the nine Hong Kong journalists “may now enter the Philippines as tourists.”

She, however, clarified that the journalists are still “subject to regular immigration inspection.”

“Upon evaluation of the NICA letter [dated November 21, 2014]and received by the BI yesterday [November 24], the BI has deemed it proper to lift the blacklist order against the foreign nationals,” Tan said in a statement.

NICA said the blacklist order “should be lifted considering that no untoward incident transpired during the President’s visit to [Indonesia] for the 26th APEC Summit.”

The Immigration bureau implemented the “blacklist order dated June 6, 2014 issued against nine foreign journalists upon the recommendation of the NICA.”

“Following normal protocol, the BI heavily relied on the advice of the NICA to lift the blacklist [order]as the NICA is presumed to be in a better position to know the facts surrounding the initial finding of undesirability and subsequent reversal of such finding,” Tan explained.

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