By APD writer MELO M. ACUÑA
MANILA, July 18 (APD) – Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente called on foreigners in the Philippines not to engage in any political activity in the country. The reminder was issued less than a week before President Rodrigo Roa Duterte delivers his Fourth State of the Nation Address (SONA) at the opening of the 18th Congress this Monday, July 22, 2019.
In a statement, Commissioner Morente reiterated the prohibition after previous incidents of deportation and exclusion of foreign nationals who participated in protests and mass actions.
“We are sending this warning to avoid a repeat of the cases where we had to deport foreign protesters,” Morente said.
He explained being visitors to the Philippines does not give them the rights and privileges of a Filipino.
“Joining political demonstrations is an utter display of disrespect to the country’s authorities and is equivalent to meddling in our internal affairs as a sovereign nation,” he added.
In 2013, a Dutch national Thomas van Beersum, was deported after being photographed joining a protest and taunting a crying policeman, while Canadian student Kim Chatillon-Miller was deported for joining an anti-SONA demonstration.
In 2018, Australian Catholic missionary nun, Patricia Fox, 73 years old, was denied renewal of her visa for violating conditions of her stay and participating in partisan political activities.
Zimbabwean Tawanda Chandiwana, American Adam Thomas Shaw and Malawian Miracle Osman were ordered to leave for what the Philippine government described as leftist activities. The three foreigners belong to the United States-based Methodists.
(ASIA PACIFIC DAILY)