DOJ urged to deport SoKor man found guilty of using bouncing checks 20 years ago
MANILA, Philippines — A lawyer called on the Department of Justice, on Sunday, to uphold with finality the deportation order against a South Korean national who was convicted of two counts of violation of the Anti-Bouncing Checks Law (Batas Pambansa Blg. 22) almost 20 years ago.
Lawyer Alex Tan said the offense committed by Kang Tae Sik involved moral turpitude and subjected him to deportation under the provisions of the Philippine Immigration Act (Commonwealth Act No. 613).
Tan, who was one of the private complainants against Kang, has filed an urgent request for the reconsideration of the Justice Secretary Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa’s Nov. 6, 2015, memorandum, which ordered the Bureau of Immigration to free the South Korean while the deportation order earlier issued against him under appeal.
Caguioa’s memorandum had directed Kang’s immediate release from detention and the recall of the warrant of deportation issued against him by the BI. It also stopped the bureau from executing the four resolutions of the BI board of commissioners which ordered and affirmed Kang’s deportation.
On orders of Immigration Commissioner Siegfred Mison, Kang was arrested last Oc. 28, 2015, by BI agents. His lawyer filed a motion before the Department of Justice to quash the deportation order and grant him bail.
Four days later, Caguioa’s office, through Chief State Counsel Ricardo Paras III, directed Mison to comment on the motion within 10 days.
However, Tan said that just four days later and without waiting for Mison’s comment, Caguioa ordered the immediate release of Kang from detention, without bail. Caguioa reasoned that since the deportation order was not yet final due to Kang’s appeal, Mison should have not yet issued the warrant of deportation.
In his appeal to Caguioa, Tan cited the factual and legal considerations that led to the issuance of a warrant of deportation against Kang. The lawyer pointed out that the board of commissioners had rejected all appeals by Kang to stop his deportation.
Tan also said that the appeals filed by Kang in September 2014 and were way beyond the required period for perfecting an appeal.
The lawyer also stressed that while the Office of the President endorsed to then justice secretary Leila de Lima a separate appeal filed for Kang by a pastor of a Korean church in the country, the OP did not countermand the board of commissioners’ deportation order.
He pointed out that Executive Order No. 292 or the Administrative Code of 1987 has provided a 30-day period within which the OP may reverse the said decision. Tan said this was not availed of by Kang.
In January 1996, Kang was sentenced by the Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 13 to two jail terms of 10 months each, or a total of one year and eight months. He was also ordered to pay the P500,000 loan he obtained from complainant Peter Sun, with 12 percent interest from Jan. 6, 1994 and to shoulder the cost of litigation and lawyer’s fees.
However, Tan said Kang managed to evade arrest and service of sentence as well as attempts to deport him by filing 14 different appeals, petitions, motions and pleadings to the Court of Appeals, the Supreme Court, the BI, DOJ and OP.
In June 2007, Kang also secured a decision from the new judge of the RTC who ruled the penalties imposed on him by final sentence had already prescribed. The judge also ordered the lifting the hold departure order and arrest warrant against him.
“The ultimate result is that despite his conviction being upheld by the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court, Kang remains free to this day. This came about due, among other things, to the failure of authorities to arrest him, to his refusal to surrender to proper authorities, and to serve even partly the penalties imposed on him,” Tan said. SFM