Afghan linked to terror, HK newsman rude to Aquino sent out of PH
MANILA, Philippines — The Afghan national who was suspected of links to Islamic State militants was put late Tuesday afternoon on a plane back to his country more than a week after he was held as a threat to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit.
Also a Hong Kong-based journalist was barred last week from covering the APEC economic leaders’ meeting and his stay in the country was shortened by the immigration bureau, apparently the price of his “rudeness” two years ago to President Aquino in a similar gathering of the heads of state in Indonesia.
Immigration officials sent back the 29-year-old Afghan national, who reportedly volunteered to be deported, on a Qatar Airways flight to Doha, which left the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) terminal 1 at around 5:30 p.m., Tuesday.
The Afghan national, who claimed to be an employee of Afghanistan’s agriculture ministry, arrived in the country on November 15 supposedly to attend an agricultural forum in Laguna but was flagged after he claimed he needed to meet with the meeting organizers at the Mall of Asia on the 18th, the venue for the APEC state dinner.
A further check on his background, particularly in his social networking account, alerted immigration agents on his support for the establishment of an Islamic Caliphate, an advocacy of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
He was not allowed by immigration officials to leave his room in a Makati City hotel until his deportation for subscribing to “a terrorist organization or ideology or belief or the overthrow of an established government,” particularly ISIL.
Meanwhile a Hong Kong journalist, who was among nine who “heckled” President Aquino in an ambush interview at the 2013 APEC Summit in Bali, Indonesia, was sent back to his country a day after he arrived here on November 16.
Airport immigration records revealed that the journalist arrived on November 16 on a Cebu Pacific flight from Hong Kong at the NAIA terminal 3 for the purpose of covering the APEC Summit on the 18th and 19th. He was, however, sent back home the next day.
It was learned that his name was included in a November 20, 2014 blacklist order issued against nine Hong Kong nationals by the Bureau of Immigration on the recommendation of the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency.
The subjects of the order were to “be prevented from entering the country to cover the APEC Summit in 2015 for heckling of President Benigno S. Aquino III…Thus we hereby include the above-named subjects in the bureau’s blacklist with remarks: ‘Undesirability.'”
The alleged “heckling” incident happened on October 6, 2013 at the Bali International Convention Center as President Aquino walked past a group of reporters from Now TV, Radio-TV Hong Kong, and Commercial Radio, all Hong Kong-based media outfits.
The Hong Kong journalists started shouting questions at Aquino pertaining to the August 23, 2010 Quirino Grandstand hostage crisis, which left eight of their compatriots dead. The reporters involved in the ambush interview had been asking whether President Aquino intended to meet with Hong Kong chief executive CY Leung and if he would be apologizing for the 2010 tragedy.
Organizers of the 21st APEC Summit in Bali immediately sanctioned the nine journalists for “screaming” at a visitor, a violation of regulations for the issuance of media access passes, and revoked their credentials, barring them from further covering the economic leaders’ meeting. SFM
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