DOJ ready for summary deportations

·2 min read
DOJ chief Boying Remulla talks to reporters in Cavite, Philippines.
Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Crispin Remulla holds a news conference outside the gates of the Export Processing Zone Authority Friday, Feb. 3, 2017 in General Trias township, Cavite province south of Manila, Philippines. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

The Department of Justice (DOJ) is ready to deport some 280 illegal workers from Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs), and is willing to do summary deportations, especially with the number of employees in such firms.

Justice secretary Jesus Crispin "Boying" Remulla mentioned on Wednesday (September 21) that it was either the workers would be deported, or cases would be filed against them. The latter choice would mean that the illegal workers cannot be sent back to China.

“Based on our procedures now, the filing of cases is not compatible with deportation. If you file a case, then we cannot deport them because they have to be under the process of the law,” Remulla said. “So we have a choice. Either to file cases or to summarily deport them. The logical thing is for summary deportation to take place because we don’t want to be keeping 20,000 people in a makeshift jail.”

Remulla previously mentioned that around 40,000 Chinese nationals are working for POGOs, and that the justice department is “scheduled to catch more people.”

“Summary deportation is the only option. We will deport them for overstaying,” he added. “We know where they all are, we know where the offices are, so it’s a matter of time before we resolve everything here.”

Because of the POGO fiasco, the Philippines is no longer issuing visas on arrival, which is only valid for 30 days.

China’s ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian thanked the government for having “rescued a number of Chinese citizens and shut down some POGO companies during their recent operations.” Gambling is illegal for Chinese nationals, online or abroad.

“It is reported that most of the recent crimes targeted at Chinese citizens in the Philippines are related to POGOs,” he said. “Crimes induced by and associated with online gambling not only harm China’s interests and China-Philippines relations but also hurt the interests of the Philippines.”

Mark Ernest Famatigan is a news writer who focuses on Philippine politics. He is an advocate for press freedom and regularly follows developments in the Philippine economy. The views expressed are his own.

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