MANILA, Philippines—Immigration officers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport on Monday intercepted a New Zealander facing a string of criminal complaints for child abuse in Davao City.
Immigration Commissioner Ricardo David Jr. said David William Wakefield, 50, was spotted by immigration agents at NAIA Terminal 2 as he was about to board a Philippine Airlines flight to Singapore.
David said Wakefield, a convicted sex offender in his country, was held due to an immigration “lookout bulletin” issued against him last November 14 on orders of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima.
The suspect is now under the joint custody of the National Bureau of Investigation and the Inter-Agency Council against Trafficking.
In a statement, David commended the immigration officers at the NAIA for their “vigilance in preventing the flight of an undesirable alien.”
According him, Wakefield is the subject of six criminal complaints filed at the Prosecutor’s Office in Davao City.
The cases involved two girls, aged 10 and 12, whom Wakefield allegedly forced to have sex with him in a hotel in Davao on October 22.
The victims said that a woman picked them up at a public market in Kidapawan City and accompanied them to Davao where they were forced to have sex with Wakefield in his hotel room.
Police later arrested Wakefield and charged him with child abuse and human trafficking but the Davao City Prosecutor’s Office ordered him released pending a preliminary investigation.
According to Florentino Diputado, alien control officer in Davao, Wakefield was previously convicted of sexual abuse by the Supreme Court of the Northern Territory in New Zealand for molesting girls, aged seven and 11, on various occasions from 1996 to 1998 and in 2007.
He was discharged from prison in February this year and has since traveled to the Philippines three times.
Diputado asked for the issuance of a lookout bulletin upon learning that the foreigner planned to flee the country to evade the charges against him.