The immigration bureau has already issued a deportation order for the 328 Chinese nationals who were apprehended in various lodging inns and pension houses in the city, but no specific date has been identified as to when they will be expatriated.
Bureau of Immigration (BI) acting spokesperson Melvin Mabulac said in an October 3 posted interview on Youtube by Raffy Tulfo in Action that they are still in the city in their designated holding area.
He said the implementation of the deportation order depends on how soon they can complete the gathering of some other “requirements”, which he did not specify.
“May deportation order na tayo para sa kanila. Naghihintay na lang tayo ng ibang requirements to ensure na sila ay maaalis na sa bansa. Kapag naalis na natin, automatic po ‘yan, maisasama natin sila sa derogatory list natin, blacklisted, hindi na sila makakabalik sa Pilipinas,” said Mabulac.
Mabulac said the Chinese nationals apprehended in Puerto Princesa City were the biggest batch they have taken into custody since they started their crackdown against those without work visas.
Explaining why they were apprehended, Mabulac said they violated the immigration law when they worked in the country without work visas and most of them have passports that have been canceled by the Chinese government.
“Basically, sa immigration law kung wala silang permit na mag-trabaho dito, that is a violation of immigration law. At doon [sa Puerto Princesa] napag-alaman natin na ang kanilang mga dokumento, mga pasaporte ay kinansela na ng Chinese govt. It would mean they are undocumented foreign nationals, puwede silang i-deport sa ground na ‘yon,” Mabulac said.
“Online ito, sa computer. The Chinese government is very interested kasi karamihan din sa biktima nila lahat — lahat ng mga biktima nila ay mga Chinese nationals. Online scamming ito na mga ginagawa ng mga nahuli natin sa Puerto Princesa,” he added.
The 328 Chinese nationals were apprehended on September 16 by a combined team of immigration personnel and support security provided by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) through the Western Command (WESCOM), according to Vice Adm. Rene Medina earlier.
They were rounded up from around eight pension houses and lodging inns and placed under the custody of the BI at Cecilia’s Inn in Barangay Bancao-Bancao.
“Ang nangyari dito ay meron tayong mga information na nare-receive sa pamamagitan ng ating mga coordinations sa AFP na kung saan dumarami ang mga foreign nationals doon sa Puerto Princesa, Palawan. That’s why after months of conducting surveillance and verification, nagkaroon tayo ng implementation ng mission order noong September 16 that was around 9 in the morning at doon natin talaga nakita na mayroong mga foreign nationals na nagtratrabaho na walang kaukulang permit or working via na inisyu ng ating Bureau of Immigration,” Mabulac added.
Mabulac said foreign nationals who want to work in the Philippines should have work visas even if they are working for POGO or Philippine Offshore Gaming Operation.
He said they also should have tax identification numbers (TIN) from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the offshore gaming operations where they are working should also have certificates of accreditation and authorities to operate from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR).
“Ibig sabihin hindi sila bibigyan ng work visa if hindi sila maka-comply ng mga requirements na ‘yon,” he said.