The Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Thursday said foreign sex offenders were banned in the Philippines.
BI spokesperson Atty. Elaine Tan said Commissioner Sigfried Mison has issued an operations order dated May 6, informing immigration agents in all seaports and airports to ban foreigners accused of sex offenses in other countries. The operations order was disseminated on May 12.
In February, at least five fugitives accused of rape and child molestation in their homeland were deported by the bureau after their passports were revoked.
The operations order said foreign sex offenders who enter the Philippines will be deported to their country of origin within 15 days.
Foreign sex offenders will also be blacklisted from entering the country.
However, Tan clarified that the bureau “will give humanitarian consideration” to foreigners who want to stay in the country if they can present the required documents.
“If they have [a legal]basis for staying here, they are allowed to file a motion to the commissioner and state their ground and they can also prove their right to stay in the country,” she said.
“Let us say there are sex offenders who will claim that they are innocent: we will check the documents,” Tan said, adding that the bureau will give due process to innocent foreign nationals.
“They are allowed to present their side of the story,” she added.
However, Tan reiterated that the general rule was “that they should be out of the country.”
Among the documents that foreign nationals will have to present are the counterparts of police or National Bureau of Investigation clearance in their country of origin.
An American sex offender, Robert Snyder, 67, was arrested in Dumaguete City on May 17 by BI agents and US law enforcers.
The BI found that Snyder has been a fugitive for ten years from a sex assault case.