The Bureau of Immigration (BI) finally deported the remaining 301 Chinese nationals in two Philippine Airlines (PAL) chartered flights early Tuesday morning at the Puerto Princesa International Airport (PPCIA).
They are part of the 329 arrested in eight establishments in the city last September 16 through the operation of the immigration intelligence division for violation of the conditions of their stay by working without necessary permits and visas and by engaging in cyber fraud and other illegal online activities.
They were transferred by two buses from Cecilia’s Inn in Barangay Bancao-Bancao to the city international airport around 4:20 a.m.
Before they were loaded to the buses, the Chinese nationals were made to wear orange shirts marked with the words “Immigration Deportee” on the front and their hands were secured with cable ties.
They were only allowed to carry minimal belongings such as wallets, passports, IDs, and a single bag.
Of the figure, seven are minors and 53 are females, said BI spokesperson Dana Mengote Sandoval.
“This morning, we are announcing the implementation of the deportation of 294 Chinese citizens in two chartered flights here at the Puerto Princesa City International Airport. These illegal aliens will be flying out via PAL flights and will be escorted by agents from BI Intelligence Division in coordination with the Western Command headed by Vice Adm. Rene Medina,” Sandoval quoted BI commissioner Jaime Morente in saying in the statement she read during the media briefing.
They will be flown by PAL straight from the PPCIA to Xi’an Xianyang International Airport in Shaanxi province, northwest China.
Sandoval said the passports of the Chinese nationals had also reportedly been canceled by their government, making them “undocumented aliens”.
“Also flying out today are seven minors who were intercepted during the operations. Upon determination of their ages, they were ordered released. Custody has been turned over to the Chinese Embassy. They will join today’s flights, bringing up the total number to 301,” Sandoval said as she quoted immigration intelligence division chief Fortunato Manahan.
The group is the first batch to leave among those arrested in Palawan, she said, adding there is a smaller group of 17 that will be flown to Manila and their deportation order is already being processed.
She said 11 have hits in the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), including the “principal”, Chinese businessman Tony Sy.
“Hence, we’re waiting for the resolution of their local cases before implementing their deportation,” she
Before the implementation of their deportation, the Chinese nationals were temporarily detained at Cecilia’s Inn, which was secured by BI and WESCOM agents.
Sandoval said Morente has reiterated his warning against illegal aliens hiding in the country.
“We are targeting big companies who blatantly disregard our laws by hiring improperly documented foreign nationals. We welcome you to our country to do business as long as you comply with our laws. If you fail to follow, we will deport you,” Morente reportedly said.
Asked why the BI took long in implementing their deportation order, Sandoval explained they were delayed because the documents of the Chinese nationals had to be checked thoroughly and individually.
Sandoval explained further that if they have pending cases in the Philippines, these will have to wait for results in the local courts before a decision to deport them is made.