On Wednesday Bureau of Immigration (BI) Commissioner Jaime Morente directed its personnel to strictly enforce its policy declaring as off-limits to unauthorized persons immigration areas in international airports nationwide and prohibiting the giving of special treatment to passengers.
The immigration chief issued the directive after reports claiming that a well-known businessman, who arrived Monday night from Bangkok via Thai Airways at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), was seen being escorted by a retired policeman.
The escort was allegedly using a pass from the airport’s pass control office when he met then accompanied the passenger and escorted him up to the immigration counter of the NAIA Terminal 1.
A video posted on social media showed controversial Filipino-Chinese gambling operator Charlie “Atong” Ang arrived at NAIA Terminal 1 on July 2 via TG-624 was assisted upon his arrival.
Mariñas said that a certain retired SPO4 Ciriaco Peralta, who was reportedly a media practitioner, assisted Ang at the airport’s immgiration area upon arrival from Thailand.
According to the report, Peralta, who is also working as a Rustan’s retail store staff, approached the border control and intelligence unit (BCIU) on duty informing that he will be assisting Ang.
The latest airport incident prompted Morente to task BI port operations division Marc Red Mariñas to relay the directive for all personnel assigned and discipline those who will defy.
Morente warned immigration personnel to desist from escorting or facilitating passengers at arrival and departure areas, either personally or via text message or phone calls, if only to expedite the implementation of immigration procedures by officers in the counters.
Morente reiterates only BI employees on active duty, and those with travel orders, are allowed to be physically present at the premises of any international port of entry at any given time. (with PNA report)