De Lima upholds deportation of fugitive Wang Bo to China
The Department of Justice has denied with finality the petition of controversial Chinese fugitive Wang Bo to stop his deportation to his native country, where he is facing embezzlement charges.
In a resolution dated August 4 and issued on Wednesday, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima denied Wang’s motion for reconsideration of her resolution in July that reinstated the original summary deportation order issued by the Bureau of Immigration last March.
De Lima said he found no reason to reverse her earlier resolution, saying the documents presented by the Chinese Embassy were sufficient basis to order Wang’s deportation.
The circumstance cited by Wang that he has been travelling to and from China without being arrested was deemed “irrelevant to the case for being a matter internal to the People’s Republic of China,” De Lima said.
“What was considered here is the fact that the People’s Republic of China had cancelled [Wang’s] passport and that he was, as well, declared a fugitive from the said country,” she added.
Wang was arrested at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport last February because his passport had been cancelled by the Chinese Embassy. The BI’s board of commissioners initially ordered Wang’s summary deportation after learning that he was wanted in China for gambling crimes and that he no longer had valid travel documents.
Through his lawyer, Wang filed a motion for reconsideration, which the board granted, reversing its earlier deportation order.
Following the protests of the Chinese Embassy through its police attache, BI Commissioner Siegfred Mison elevated the matter to De Lima.
“The basic question that this Office had to contend with from the very beginning was this: between the official embassy representations of a foreign state such as China, on the one hand, and the mostly barefaced allegations of a wanted criminal evading capture from his country of nationality, on the other, what version of the narrative is to be believed? Under no circumstances of the present case and under no provision of the rules of evidence can the answer to this question ever be favorable to [Wang],” De Lima ruled.
Wang figured in media reports as having been the supposed source of millions of pesos allegedly used to bribe congressmen who voted in favor of the controversial Bangsamoro Basic Law in the House of Representatives. There were also allegations the BI officials were also bribed to act in his favor.
De Lima said the allegations did not figure in her decision. She pointed out that the probe conducted by the National Bureau of Investigation did not find any direct or indirect pieces of evidence pointing to pay-offs between the party of Wang and any politician or any BI official.
“The media circus surrounding, and other issues connected to, this highly controversial case were, as they should be, never relevant to the decision reached by his Office,” she said.