BI denies illegally holding American in overstaying case


Immigration Commissioner Ricardo David Jr.: Allegation baseless

MANILA, Philippines—The Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Monday denied arbitrarily detaining an American it had arrested three years ago for overstaying his visa.

In a statement, Immigration Commissioner Ricardo David Jr. belied the claim of Walter Francis Groves that the bureau had been violating his rights since his arrest on March 23, 2010.

David said the BI could not allow Groves’ deportation pending the final resolution of his estafa case in the Makati City regional trial court.

While Grove’s case had been “provisionally dismissed,” David said it could still be revived should the parties to the case fail to comply with the compromise agreement reached at the proceedings.

David also cited the contention of prosecutor Roberto Lao—who was assigned to the BI by Justice Secretary Leila de Lima—that under the rules the bureau had to wait two years from the date of the provisional dismissal of the case before Groves could be deported to the United States.

“But if the court would issue a clearance that there was no more pending case against him, we would waste no time and deport him immediately aboard the first available flight to the US,” David said.

He also said he could not approve a bail petition filed by Grove because the deportation order against him was final.

Earlier, Grove filed a complaint against David in the Office of the President, charging that he was being continuously detained by the bureau without a trial.

David said Groves’ allegation was baseless, adding that the American had been accorded due process and was given his day in court with the assistance of a lawyer.

Records showed that immigration agents arrested Groves three years ago. On May 4, 2011, the BI Board of Commissioners ordered his summary deportation for being an “undocumented, improperly documented and overstaying” foreign national.

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  • Mr. Mxyzptlk

    The parties who oppose Groves in the Estafa case know that the longer they string it out, the longer Groves sits and rots in jail. What a great way to use the panoply of state power at your private service.

    Definitely more to this than meets the eye. Follow the money trail.

    • kanoy

      lol Groves got it made—why complain?
      free food rent electric medical no bills run his own business never ever under any circumstances pay the fines lowered by the court live on the Philippine taxpayers dole—die in the RP still owing—there is nothing on the streets of the RP that can not be got in RP jails big screen TV cellphone Colt .45 machete women trips into town build your own shack outside the walls

      people in Tondo rot
      people in prison know where their next meal is coming from
      the taxpayers

      • Garo Ungaro

        Thanks for the new typeface letters…looks more natural…Kanoy?…

  • JK1000

    Great job BI, let him suffer and pay for his crime. I

    • kanoy

      immigration agents arrested Groves three years ago. On May 4, 2011, the
      BI Board of Commissioners ordered his summary deportation for being an
      “undocumented, improperly documented and overstaying” foreign national.

      the US could jail millions of Filipino and other foreigners for the same thing and the RP would be at the forefront yelling ”FOUL UNFAIR UNJUST RACIST”
      the US still might deport thousands of overstay OFW and their family


      Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama
      took up the mantle of defiance, telling reporters he recited an
      obscure verse from “America The Beautiful” to rally his
      colleagues to oppose any pathway to citizenship for undocumented
      immigrants. (“Confirm thy soul in self control/thy liberty in
      law,” the verse went.)

      Earning a dwindling share
      of the Latino vote may be a problem for Republicans nationally, but a
      congressman such as Brooks gets reelected with support primarily from
      white Alabama voters. Like him, many southern Republicans have little
      national ambition, and therefore little cause to support reform.

      After the Senate passed a
      bipartisan immigration reform bill with a 68-32 majority, the
      question for House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is whether he will
      ultimately let members like Mo Brooks set national immigration

      Boehner has two
      conflicting rules for governing the House of Representatives. The
      first is his long-running inclination to “let the House work its
      will,” a pledge of his deference to the members and to the
      chamber’s regular order. The second is the so-called Hastert Rule,
      named for former Speaker Dennis Hastert, which says that no bill
      should come to the floor that doesn’t have majority support from
      Republicans. It could now be called the Mo Brooks Rule.

      Following that rule spells
      death for immigration reform, because it’s unlikely a majority of
      Republicans can be found to vote for what talk radio derides as
      “amnesty,” and what Brooks sees as a direct violation of
      “our sort of second national anthem.”

      • nick

        same reason? estafa?

      • kanoy

        the estafa case has long been over–my thought is that—like a hospital here–they will not release you until you pay your bill
        he must have been fined in the estafa case and they are holding him hostage until he pays it

      • foreignerph

        Sounds like kidnapping for ransom.

  • Noah Ark

    Immigration has no regard for due process of law or the Philippines Constitution, under Comm. David, illegal arrests and detainment is a common procedure, David operates immigration under Marshal law with no regards for the immigration rules and procedures . Arbitrary detention cases have piled up against David with the Ombudsman, as well as denial of medical treatment and illegal arrests. There will be more cases as time goes on, he will be removed and prosecuted for his crimes against human rights. At the present time, there are 4 other cases of arbitrary detention with the presidents office awaiting disciplinary action. His administration is filled with corruption, Bicutan detention center has become a money making machine for corrupt immigration officials and equally corrupt lawyers.

    • foreignerph

      If you read all this and some comments, people should be worried to ever come to the PH. It sounds like a bunch of greedy natives that want to cook and devore any stranger stumbling in their territory. Luckily, you can enchant these natives with shiny mirrors and little colored stones and get away ;-)

  • paulo

    Commissioner David and Prosecutor Robert Lao are all wrong. A provisionally dismissed case is technically considered a dismissed case, unless revived within two (2) years from date of dismissal.

    In the regular courts, a detainee must be released immediately on the day his case is provisionally dismissed. Thus, there is no more impediment in holding Groves in detention in the BID Jail and he must be deported immediately.

    If his case is revived within two years and he was already deported, trial may proceed in absentia provided he is already arraigned prior to the provisional dismissal. If he gets convicted, DOJ may apply for his extradition back to the country for service of sentence.

    Commissioner David and Prosecutor Lao intentionally allowed themselves to become tools to collect in the estafa case. Secretary De Lima should investigate these two fellows.

    • nick

      “PROVISIONALLY” google it..

      trial in absentia, wtf, what if he is guilty, and he is in US? what can our courts do? sometimes, you have to use your brains brother.

      • rightist

        He is already in jail for 3 years be cause of the slow movement of our justice system. I do not like estafadors but 3 years in jail without a guilty verdict on a non violent case is not reasonable.

  • gringoloco

    Time to start to deport ALL undocumented filipinos working in the United States of America…!!!!!!
    We need to write to our Congressman not to approve the migration reforms.
    Expel right now those criminals filipinos in the States.

    • nick

      yes please. so they wont be abused by pigs.

      • Crazy_horse101010

        yes and come back here and be abused by you.

    • askal2u

      I think we should shoot all the pedophile Americans who will be caught staying and hiding in the Philippines

      • Crazy_horse101010

        that 2 priests from the philippines were arrested and charged with child rape and stealing from the church in america in the last 6 months one had hundreds of childrens pictures in his computer one was in fargo north dakota and the other in kansa city then there was the ivory priest in cebu who admitting raping 2 boys in los angles nothing was ever done with him. i hate peodohiles but it should be both ways. and not all us americans are interested in children. im happy with my wife. and a friend of mind brought a woman to america on a fiance visa. she conned him she ran off and married another guy illegally.that she knew on the internet. she is hiding out in america some where.

      • foreignerph

        Does that include the pedophiles in the Vatican and their accomplices in the PH?

  • Commentator

    I think there should be a reasonable time to finish this case. This cannot last for too long and common sense and fairness should prevail.

  • Philipmon

    As in other countries, overstaying aliens should be arrested then deported to their country of origin immediately. They should also be prohibited from entering the country again. Their biometrics should be obtained prior to their deportation to prevent them from entering the country in a different name. All international ports of entry should have an updated database of undesirable aliens and on-the loose criminals to deter them from entering our country.

    It is best that all foreign visitors prior to entering the country should have their biometrics taken and their itinerary checked and their capacity to fund their visit to our country. Public transport companies should be required to request foreigner travelers to produce their passport every time they buy ticket (bus, plane, ship, train) to travel to other parts of the archipelago. Transportation companies thru the Department of Transportation and Communication and the BI to monitor and make certain that these foreigners comply with their visa terms.

    • Crazy_horse101010

      what if we live here permanently. do we carry our passport on us at all times . do tourists in other countries have their biometrics taken and what happens if your on a trip to a dozen countries. the philippines wants more tourists but its going to be hard if you make this into a police state. what if you are here then decide you want to include another island that isnt on your itinerary. cant go, does this country need a ton more paperwork. i can see a lot of tourists being screwed over and more money under the table.

      • Philipmon

        Yes their are countries where tourist have their biometrics taken prior to being allowed entry (i.e. Israel, KSA, UAE, etc). If I am not mistaken, if you overstayed in Australia you get banned from entering the country for life.

        Its your choice to live as an alien in the Philippines. You have an option to apply for Dual or Philippine citizenship if you prefer to stay longer or indefinitely in the Philippines.

        If you live in the Philippines permanently but chose to retain your citizenship, then you should carry your passport at all times. The Philippines does not issue Permanent Resident IDs yet to foreign nationals living in the country.

        A tourist will have to bring their passports always while in the Philippines. Oftentimes, tourist have arranged their vacation thru tourist agencies including transport to/from points of destinations. The travel agencies will handle obtaining the transportation tickets in behalf of their clients. Their clients will be required to provide a copy of their passports to the tourist agencies to obtain pubic transport tickets. If the tourist agencies will be using private transport, they’ll be responsible for their clients while in the country. Their responsibility ceases when their client boards their departure flight. When the client overstayed, it is the responsibility of the tourist agency to report to the BI and Philippine security agencies.

        With foreign backpackers, they are not prevented to buy tickets; however, they need to present their passport in ticketing and transport agencies prior to being issued a ticket or hotel reservation. Transport agencies and hotels staff will be required to check the validity date of the visa. If expired, then they are required to inform BI and the Philippine security agencies of the overstaying alien requesting for a ticket or accommodation for him/her to get the overstaying alien arrested by the BI.

    • askal2u

      It depends, if they committed heinous crimes such as murder, rape, and dealing with drugs, they can be hanged for their crimes or spend life in prison. In the case of Chinese drug lords, they should all be killed right away and dump their bodies in the garbage dumpsites.

      • Philipmon

        For heinous crimes as you’ve enumerated, I agree with you.

    • panhase

      So what you are suggesting is, that the government should shut down tourism in the Philippines. I don´t know in what country one has to produce a passport when buying a bus or train ticket, maybe North Korea.

      • Philipmon

        I did not suggest the government shut down tourism in the Philippines.

        What I am suggesting is making more secure for foreigners to travel around our country. And, to make it allot easier for our security agencies to prevent undesirable aliens from entering our country and to make it easier to catch aliens who violated our laws (including overstaying, drugs, etc). This is being done in other countries (i.e. Israel, UAE, KSA, etc.) why not in the Philippines?

      • panhase

        Nice examples, Israel has special security problems. That people still go to Israel as tourists is mostly religious motivated. Maybe you did hear about Jerusalem, Nazareth and Bethlehem to name just a few. Philippines cannot compete with that. Also UEA and KSA are different cases, you will find out for yourself what´s the difference.
        Philippines fledgling tourism industry has to compete with other places that are more developed, places with better infrastructur. Now take a look if traveling in these places is as difficult as you want to make it in the Philippines. You do not want to make it more secure for tourists, you want to control every movement of them. That is in effect closing tourism altogether. Do you really believe tourists would trott to the Philippines when they know every step would be monitored? Has it ever occured to you why police states are not favourite tourist destinations? The answer is simple, people don´t like to go there.

      • Philipmon

        I already had the chance to go to these places. I felt safer.

        Only those who have not experience it or those whose intention is unlawful will have the chills. We don’t want those type of tourist. And, we are better off without those types of tourist to begin with.

      • panhase

        You had the chance going there, that´s nice for you. And that you had feelings there is even better.
        I am staying 30 years in Europe (by the way up to now the biggest market for tourism) now and most Europeans do not have the intention to visit something that would be virtually prison.
        You think the Philippines would be better off without tourism? Of course there are already so many jobs some more or less doesn´t matter. Anyway people will prefer to work abroad as OFW`s so why care for jobs in the homeland. It´s much easier to send people away to foreign soil.

      • Philipmon

        Yeah right. You’ve been living in Europe and based on your response, you think you are one of them. Thus, you speak on their behalf.

        On your conclusion that their will be less tourist. I agree with you that their would be less undesirable tourists. However, those law abiding tourists, it is still more fun in the Philippines.

    • foreignerph

      Wow, you have such a great, well thought and detailed plan: “it should”, “it is best”… Why don’t you run for president and make it all happen? :-p

      You just forgot one tiny detail. No rules or laws are enforced really in the PH when you flash a bill. For the vast majority of tourists and visitors, this type of red tape will be too much and the beaches in Thailand will be grateful to you.

      • Philipmon

        Thank you for the confidence. However, I don’t need to run for president. I just need to influence the Philippine government by sharing my views on how to resolve such a problem for my country land.

        If you are living in the Philippines, you might have notice the changing cityscape and with it Filipinos are rediscovering your own identity which was subdued and corrupted as a result of being colonized and brained washed for hundreds of years.

        I hope you and the rest of foreigners living in our country would learn to respect us as a people. Since we are tolerating your views as our guest, do us a favor of respecting us as a people and as a nation.

  • delpillar

    The Gestapo-like attitude of Commissioner Hitler David was taken notice by some countries like Japan. (The picture above is photo-shopped. The real mustache of Commissioner Hitler David is only in the middle, just like his fellow, Adolf Hitler). He detained arbitrarily a Japanese tourist who went to BI main office to re-extend the toursit visa. Accordint to Hitler David, the previous visa extension stamp in the passport which was stamped by an authorized travel agent in SM Dasmarinas was fake accordingly. Instead of prosecuting the travel agency in SM Dasmarinas, he immediately put the Japanese in jail

    In Japan, the Immigration bureau there, seems to be, had retaliated (to by sending back illegal Filipinos with no criminal records, other than over-staying, back to the Philippines instead of being feed 3x a day (of descent meal) with mirienda and under airconditioned jail houses with soft bed.

    While Filipinos are in the 3rd or 4th highest number of illegal Aliens in Japan, it is the first to handed-down with forceful deportation by chartered flight.

    From KYODO NEWS July 7, 2013

    The government of Japan chartered a plane to deport 70 Filipinos on Saturday who overstayed their visas, allowing it to avoid the huge expense of deporting them individually, sources said.

    The Filipinos, who had been held at detention facilities run by the Immigration Bureau, were flown to Manila, the sources said.

    According to the Immigration Bureau, Japan used to issue written deportation orders requiring people living here illegally to return home at their own expense by air or sea. The travel expenses of those who refused were footed by the government and included the cost of an immigration official escort.

    In some cases, deportees behaved so violently that airlines refused to board them.

    The ministry thus decided it would be cheaper and cause less inconvenience to the public to charter aircraft to deport foreigners en masse instead of individually, the sources said.

    The ministry has set aside ¥30 million for the tactic, which has also been used in Europe, in the fiscal 2013 budget, they added.

    According to the bureau, there were 62,000 people living in Japan illegally as of January and 5,700 were Filipinos.

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