THE Supreme Court has ordered the Integrated Bar of the Philippines to explain why it allowed the premises of the IBP Building in Julia Vargas Avenue to be used as a venue for the press conference of Peter Joemel Advincula.
In an en banc resolution dated June 18, 2019 but made public only a couple of days ago, the High Tribunal said that “acting on the Letter dated May 24, 2019 of Atty. Ferdinand S. Topacio ... the Court Resolved to require the IBP to comment thereon within ten days from notice hereof”.
Last May 6, 2019, Advincula, who identified himself as ‘Bikoy’ in a series of videos uploaded on YouTube entitled ‘Totoong Narcolist’, said that he was seeking the assistance of the national lawyers’ organization to file charges against those he implicated as drug traffickers in the said video, which included President Rodrigo Duterte’s teenaged daughter Kitty, his son former Davao City vice-mayor Paolo Duterte and his former special assistant and now senator Christopher Go, among others.
Advincula was accompanied during the press conference by IBP National Director for Legal Aid Minerva Ambrosio and other IBP officials.
Topacio has complained in a verified letter that it was ‘highly improper for IBP officers to have accommodated Advincula in the using the IBP premises as a medium for his press conference,’ saying that it violates the by-laws of the IBP as a ‘strictly non-political’ institution.
The IBP has come under fire from other sectors after the said press conference.
Solicitor-General Jose Calida condemned the same acts of the IBP, stating that ‘(IBP president Abdiel) Fajardo has turned the IBP into a highly-politicized organization, when it should advance the rule of law and stand for truth and justice.’
The Davao Chapter of the IBP also slammed the IBP ‘for letting itself be used as a staging area’ for the ‘Bikoy’ press conference.
Let’s see what happens next…
Bureau of Immigration (BI) spokesperson Dana Sandoval reported recently that the bureau had barred from entering the country a total of 2,351 foreign nationals during the first six months of the year, as a result of the agency’s intensified efforts to thwart the entry of aliens whose presence here are deemed inimical to public welfare and safety.
According to BI port operations division chief Grifton Medina, ,the said aliens of various nationalities were denied entry in the different ports. Of the number, 1,920 aliens were turned away at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport while the rest were stopped at the airports in Mactan, Clark, Kalibo, Aklan and Davao after primary and secondary inspection by immigration officers showed that they were unfit for admission into our country for a variety of reasons. They were thus issued exclusion orders and booked on the first available flight to their ports of origin.
Statistics from the BI-POD’s travel control and enforcement (TCEU) show that 1,129 Chinese nationals topped the list of excluded aliens, followed by 106 Indians, 87 Americans, 52 Taiwanese, and 67 Koreans.
Particularly worthy of commendation are the alert BI port personnel whose intensified efforts to thwart the entry of aliens whose presence here are deemed inimical to public welfare and safety give us the chance to sleep soundly at night.
Medina and his team of officers including Anton Lopez, TCEU head of NAIA terminal 3; his deputies Attorney Nell Ganias and Patrick Elfan; NAIA Terminal 2 TCEU head Arlan Mendoza; Dennis Robles, overall Terminal 2 head; Joey Escobar, BCIU head at the NAIA Terminal 2; NAIA 1 Administrative aide 6 Angelica Omampo; Supervisor Ver Lazatin and Terminal 2 TCEU officer Ric Sarao.
It seems that the word ‘relax’ does not exist in the vocabulary of these men and women of the BI-NAIA.
These are the people to whom we owe our country’s safety and security. They guard our borders 24/7, making sure that no threats to security ever makes it into our country.
Sandoval said the list of those who were barred entry at our ports includes registered sex offenders, wanted fugitives, suspected international terrorists, and blacklisted and previously deported aliens. Can you imagine if all these were able to enter the country???
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