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|142 illegal aliens deported in 2008 - BI|
19 January 2009
The deportees also included several fugitives from justice who are wanted for various crimes in their homelands.
Libanan, however, bared that “many of them had refused to go back to their homeland and opted to remain in jail, believing they could stay there indefinitely and be provided with food and lodging at the government’s expense.”
Nonetheless, Libanan said the BI has strictly adhered to its policy of not deporting foreigners who have pending court cases, lest the bureau’s officials be accused of obstructing justice.
Thus, it has always been a standard operating procedure of the BI to first secure the necessary clearance from the court, police and National Bureau of Investigation for a foreign detainee before a deportation order is implemented.
BI spokesman Floro Balato Jr. said there were only 63 aliens detained at the Bicutan jail as of Dec. 31, compared to the 160 who were there when Libanan assumed office as BI chief in May 2007.
He said that after Libanan learned that the jail was built to accommodate only 80 detainees, he immediately formed a deportation implementation unit headed by Atty. Antonio Rivera.
“He then instructed Atty. Rivera to see to it that a detainee is deported within three months from the time a deportation order against the alien is issued by the BI board of commissioners,” Balato said.
Libanan also assigned a team of BI legal officers to review and resolve the cases of overstaying detainees so that their departure could be facilitated without delay.
It will be recalled that last year the Senate and Commission on Audit issued separate statements commending the BI for successfully decongesting its Bicutan jail.
A report on the decongestion program revealed that 36 Vietnamese topped the list of the deportees, followed by 23 Chinese, 11 Koreans, nine Americans, and eight Japanese.