The Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Monday clarified that Party of European Socialist (PES) deputy secretary general Giacomo Filibeck, an Italian national, was blacklisted for violating the conditions of his stay as a tourist when he came to the Philippines last year.
The BI made the statement after Filibeck was barred from entering the Philippines and was immediately deported on Sunday.
“He was not supposed to do that because being a tourist he does not enjoy the rights and privileges of a Philippine citizen, particularly the exercise of political rights which are exclusively reserved to Filipinos,” Morente said in a statement.
Also, Morente cited BI Operations Order No. SBM-2015-025 dated July 3, 2015, which prohibits foreigners from engaging in political activities in the country, “foreign tourists in the Philippines are enjoined to observe the limitation on the exercise of their political rights during their stay in the Philippines.”
“We cannot allow the entry of foreigners who have shown disrespect to our duly-constituted authorities by meddling and interfering in our internal affairs as a sovereign nation,” Morente added.
DOJ defends Filibeck deportation
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, meanwhile, defended the order against the PES head.
“It is unlawful for aliens staying in our country to engage in partisan political activities, and the government has the right to refuse entry to those who have committed these illegal acts in the past,” Guevarra said in a text message to reporters.
Filibeck was in the country in October 2017 to attend a party congress of the Akbayan Party-list, a sister party of the PES where he criticized President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.
Meanwhile, BI spokesperson Ma. Antonette Mangrobang noted that it was not the first time that a foreigner was expelled for engaging in political activities.
She cited the case of 20-year-old Dutch activist Thomas Van Beersum who was deported in August 2013 after he made a police officer cry during a rally against former President Benigno Aquino’s State of the Nation Address.
Beersum was photographed yelling at a weeping riot police officer during the protest outside the House of Representatives building in Quezon City.
“He (Beersum) not only took part in a protest rally but he also berated and used foul words against the police officer,” the BI official said.
“He was later deported for violating the conditions of his tourist visa and was put on our blacklist,” Mangrobang added.(FP/CLC/PNA)