BI probes long interviews, irrelevant requirements

It is said that several passengers have been left behind by the plane they were traveling abroad due to thorough questioning by the Bureau of Immigration (BI) even though they don’t think it is necessary, such as looking for a diploma and yearbook as proof of their graduation.

In a report by Maki Pulido on GMA News “24 Oras” this Friday, it was said that Cham Tanteras was one of those left behind by the plane due to the long questioning of the BI personnel.


The incident happened in December and Tanteras was on his way to Israel for a trip.

When asked by the immigration officer, Tanteras was allegedly searched for a yearbook.

“Hindi naman ako magdadala ng yearbook while traveling, kahit saan pa. Sabi niya [immigration officer), ‘if you didn’t bring your yearbook, do you have your graduation photo with you?,’” said Tanteras.


After undergoing a long questioning at BI’s secondary inspection, Tanteras was said to have been allowed to travel, but the plane left him behind.

Because of what happened, Tanteras was forced to rebook a plane at an additional cost to her.

“We apologize for the inconvenience this may have caused the Filipina passenger and other Filipino passengers,” BI said in their statement on Tanteras’ case.


It is said that the BI investigated the incident and transferred the staff who asked Tanteras for the yearbook.

BI probes long interviews, irrelevant requirements

But in January, a similar incident happened to “Rie,” who was also on vacation in Taiwan.

When the immigration officer learned that she previously worked in Dubai, she was bombarded with questions about being an overseas Filipino worker (OFW).

She also underwent a secondary inspection like Tanteras went through.

After about an hour and a half, Rie was also allowed to leave, but her plane left her behind.

Like Tanteras, Rie’s expenses also increased as she rebooked her trip in order to continue her longed-for vacation.

Rie filed a complaint with the Office of the Ombudsman against the two immigration officers for alleged “grave abuse of authority, oppression, and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service.”

BI has not yet made a statement on Rie’s case.

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