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BI thwarts two new attempts of sex offenders to enter PH

Bureau of Immigration (BI) Commissioner Norman Tansingco announced that its airport personnel barred from entering the country on Friday two Americans previously convicted of sexually molesting minors in the US.

Tansingco identified the two passengers as Mark David Scanlon and Richard Stuart Patterson, who arrived via separate flights at the international airports in Cebu and Manila.

“We will not allow that to happen. We are duty-bound to implement a provision in our immigration act that prohibits the entry of aliens convicted of crimes involving moral turpitude. We will not allow the entry of these undesirable aliens to pose a threat to our women and children,” the BI chief declared.

Scanlon, 53, was intercepted after arriving aboard an Eva Air flight from Taiwan at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) while Patterson, 33, was turned back upon arriving from Los Angeles via a Philippine Airlines flight at the NAIA 1 terminal. Both passengers were already sent back to their ports of origin hours after they were denied entry.

BI spokesperson Dana Sandoval said that in 2012 a court in Cook County, Illinois convicted Scanlon on the charge of indecently soliciting a child over the Internet wherein the victim was 11 years of age.

Sandoval added that on the other hand, Patterson was convicted in Oregon on May 2011 on the charges of sexual abuse on the second degree and sodomy on the third degree where the victims were 15 and 13 years old, respectively.

Meanwhile, Tansingo expressed alarm over the unabated attempts by foreign sex offenders to enter the country, as he observed that exclusions of registered sex offenders (RSOs) by immigration officers have almost become a daily trend, and is not limited in Manila but can also encountered in provincial airports such as Cebu.

Tansingco expressed worry that unscrupulous individuals may be promoting sex tourism.

Itchie G. Cabayan
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