The Bureau of Immigration (BI) reported that two more Americans were barred from entering the country at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) for being convicted sex offenders.
In a statement, Immigration Commissioner Norman Tansingco said the two passengers were recently turned back upon their arrival at the NAIA Terminal 1.
One of them was identified as Joseph Sami Sallaj, 30, who arrived last Friday from Taipei, while the other one is Eduardo Ison Balenbin, 72, who came on Saturday from San Francisco.
“They were immediately sent back to their port of origin and placed in our blacklist to prevent them from entering the country should they attempt to return in the future,” Tansingco said.
The BI chief reiterated that the country’s immigration law expressly forbids the entry of aliens convicted of crimes involving moral turpitude as their presence here poses a serious threat to Filipino women and children.
“We cannot allow our country to be a hub for sex tourism. Foreign pedophiles are not welcome here, thus they will be turned away the moment they step on our airports,” he added.
Information supplied by the US government disclosed that Sallaj was convicted in December 2012 by a court in Tennessee for the crime of sexual battery wherein the victim is a 12-year-old child.
On the other hand, Balenbin was reportedly convicted by a California court in May 2007 after being found guilty of engaging in lewd and lascivious acts with a child.
Both Sallaj and Balenbin are registered sex offenders (RSOs) in their respective states thus their activities are continuously monitored by authorities even after they have served their sentences.
BI thanks LGU for info vs illegal alien
The Bureau of Immigration (BI) said that information from local government units (LGUs) regarding illegal aliens in their areas remains critical in locating and arresting violators.
The BI cited a recent operation of its regional intelligence operations unit (RIOU) 2 in Barangay Sta. Maria, Cab # 8, Ilagan City, Isabela, last January 16.
The operation, in coordination with the Ilagan City police station, resulted in the arrest of South African Abdool Kamer Mahamed, 67, for overstaying and for being an undocumented alien.
Fortunato Manahan, Jr., chief of the BI’s Intelligence Division, highlighted the crucial role of information received from the barangay level. He emphasized that the investigation of Mr. Mahamed’s activities originated from barangay reports, which were crucial in confirming his illegal records and activities.
Mahamed was the subject of complaints in the barangay, reportedly due to his unruly behavior in the community.
BI Commissioner Norman Tansingco lauded the arrest and encouraged other LGUs to report the activities of foreign nationals in their areas of jurisdiction.
“We remain committed to fostering strong partnerships with local government units as community cooperation is instrumental in ensuring that we are able to locate and arrest illegal aliens,” he stated.
Mahamed will remain in the BI’s facility inside Camp Bagong Diwa in Bicutan, Taguig, pending deportation.