PH Immigration seeking to deport Aussie prof for allegedly participating in protest

Photo: KARAPATAN Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights
Photo: KARAPATAN Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights

The country’s Bureau of Immigration (BI) is planning to deport another Australian, and this time, it’s a professor.

Gill Boehringer, 84, was barred from entering the country on Wednesday upon his arrival at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

According to human rights group Karapatan, which is giving him paralegal support, the BI told the professor he couldn’t enter the country due to his involvement in a protest in November 2015, ABS-CBN reported.

“[B]ut he was not shown any documents whatsoever and was not given any chance to dispute the charges or allegations against him,” said Tinay Palabay of Karapatan.

The professor is said to be suffering from “almost fatal pulmonary embolism” according to his doctor Geneve Rivera-Reyes. Reyes said Boehringer is not fit to travel until he gets a medical clearance.

According to Karapatan’s Facebook post yesterday, Boehringer is being assisted by the National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL). The post said a letter has been sent to BI Commissioner Jaime Morente to ask for a recall of the deportation order against the professor so he could have a medical check-up and recuperate first.

Said the post: “NUPL also stated in their letter that they will assist Boehringer in responding to the charges against their client as soon as they receive documents pertinent to his case. As of this writing, NUPL has yet to receive the necessary documents stipulating the bases of the reported blacklist order against the Australian law professor, as well as the written reply on their letter this morning [yesterday] to Morente.”

BI’s spokesperson Dana Sandoval told the Associated Press that his alleged involvement in the protest three years ago was in “clear violation” of the Philippines’ immigration policy that prohibits foreigners from engaging in political activities in the country.

Meanwhile, Department of Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said Boehringer can petition to have his name removed from the blacklist. However, he said that “delisting may not be compelled and is purely an act of grace on the part of the sovereign state.”

Boehringer is a human rights advocate married to a Filipina. He learned about being included in the blacklist only upon his arrival at NAIA.

Last month, the BI ordered the deportation of Australian nun Patricia Fox, also for allegedly engaging in political activities. Fox is still in the country and is in the process of appealing the government’s decision.

In April, the BI also barred Giacomo Filibeck, the leader of the Party of European Socialists, from entering the country for “illegal political activity.” Filibeck once denounced the government’s war on drugs.

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