MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Justice (DOJ) has officially lent its support to the Bureau of Immigration (BI) in addressing and resolving the concerning "Demanda Me" scheme that has been highlighted in recent public hearings.
Secretary of Justice, Jesus Crispin Remulla, during the Public Hearing of the Committee on Finance chaired by Senator Sonny Angara on October 9, shed light on the crafty methods being employed by arrested foreign nationals within the BI’s jurisdiction to delay their deportation. This loophole has seen some foreign nationals taking advantage of the system, with the assistance of corrupt legal practitioners, to file unfounded cases against themselves.
BI Commissioner Norman Tansingco underscored the gravity of the situation. He drew attention to the example presented by Secretary Remulla, where a Japanese national with pending charges of violence against women and children, allegedly lodged by his wife who, intriguingly, visited him regularly, used the scheme to delay his exit from the Philippines.
Tansingco expressed his gratitude, “We deeply appreciate Secretary Remulla and the entire DOJ for actively stepping in to expedite the resolution of such cases. Their support enables us to implement deportations that have been long overdue.”
With the BI’s holding facility in Taguig stretched beyond its capacity, housing 276 foreign nationals in a space intended for just over 100, there is an urgent need to address this challenge. Concerningly, over half of these individuals have pending criminal cases, with 53% classified as fugitives from justice.
Tansingco stressed the need for action, “These deceptive tactics allow international fugitives to evade the grasp of their home nations. We are confident that with the DOJ's vigorous pursuit of those lawyers and courts involved in these schemes, such tactics will become a thing of the past.”
The DOJ affirms its commitment to safeguarding the nation's borders and ensuring that justice is not thwarted by such crafty maneuvers. Collaboration between the DOJ and BI is set to strengthen, promising a more secure and accountable immigration process for the Philippines.