The Bureau of Immigration on Saturday said it did not have any record of Taylor Kitsch entering the country even as it promised to investigate the Canadian actor’s claim that he was turned back by a customs officer when he arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) recently.
Lawyer Ma. Antonette Mangrobang, immigration spokesperson, said an initial check of the bureau’s computer files showed no record of arrival of a passenger named Taylor Kitsch.
Mangrobang also disputed Kitsch’s claim that he had a working visa as there was no record of an alien certificate of registration-identity card (ACR I-Card) being issued under his name.
In an interview with American television host David Letterman on his late night show that aired March 1, Kitsch said he had just arrived in the Philippines when a customs officer told him he had to return to Japan because there were no more blank pages on his passport.
After a long argument, Kitsch said the customs officer eventually let him through.
“We also checked the flight manifests of all airlines from Japan to Manila and it all yielded negative results,” Mangrobang said.
Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon said Kitsch may have mistaken the Philippines for another country, adding that the Bureau of Customs (BOC) did not have any record in the airline manifests of his arrival.
“Our BOC office checked the manifests of flights coming into Manila. Since Mr. Kitsch said he came in from Japan, he could have arrived only via Naia 1, where most international flights come in, or Naia 2, where PAL flights arrive,” Biazon said.
Mangrobang said Immigration Commissioner Ricardo David Jr. had ordered an investigation into Kitsch’s story.
“We will also extract footage from closed circuit television cameras at the airport to check if indeed he arrived and was processed in our immigration counters,” Mangrobang said.
Mangrobang assured the public that if the investigation showed that immigration officers were responsible, those involved would be held administratively liable and meted out disciplinary penalty. Philip C. Tubeza