Caguioa revoked Korean’s deportation before going to SC
One of the last decisions of former Justice Secretary Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa before he took his oath as associate justice of the Supreme Court on Jan. 16 was to reverse all resolutions of the Bureau of Immigration (BI) ordering the arrest and deportation of a Korean businessman for violations committed more than two decades ago.
In the decision dated Jan. 15, Caguioa said the BI orders were “premature and unlawful” and granted the appeal of Kang Tae-sik, a 71-year-old import-export businessman, to stop his deportation, according to documents obtained by the Inquirer.
“It would be a travesty if the appellant is deported on the basis of his conviction for a crime (estafa) wherein imprisonment is no longer imposed and which cannot be considered as a ground for deportation,” Caguioa also said in his 10-page order.
“The appeal is granted. The resolutions (dated June, 26, 2014, Aug. 15, 2015, May 21, 2015 and Sept. 16, 2015) issued by the Bureau of Immigration and the deportation case against Kang Tae-sik are hereby reversed. The warrant of deportation dated Oct. 20, 2015, is likewise revoked.” Caguioa ruled.
Kang was convicted in 1994 for issuing two bouncing checks. Kang did not serve the imposed penalties as he continued to appeal the cases in court.
Then on Oct. 28, 2015, Kang was suddenly arrested at his Makati office by immigration agents and detained at the BI facility in Bicutan.
On Nov. 6, 2015, Caguioa’s ruling on Kang’s appeal directed the BI to release the Korean businessman and recalled the warrant of arrest, noting Kang’s motion to post bail.
Caguioa said he agreed with Kang’s argument that he could not be deported since he was not sentenced “for a term of one year or more,” as stated in law.
“Based on the facts and circumstances of the case, the appelant’s right to due process would be violated if he were to be deported on the basis of being an ‘undesirable alien’.”
In the same order, Caguioa said the “issuance of the warrant of deportation against Kang and his subsequent arrest were both premature and unlawful.”
He added that the arrest order was a “serious procedural lapse while the appealant’s appeal was still pending before the DOJ.”