Karapatan said Australian law professor Gill Boehringer has long been active in campaigning for human rights in the Philippines.
Karapatan said Australian law professor Gill Boehringer has long been active in campaigning for human rights in the Philippines.
Karapatan/released
Guevarra: Blacklisted Australian prof may appeal Immigration case
Kristine Joy Patag (philstar.com) - August 9, 2018 - 11:03am

MANILA, Philippines — The Australian professor set to be sent away by the Bureau of Immigration may still appeal his case, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said.

In a message to Philstar.com, Guevarra said that Gill Boehringer, who was barred from entering the country, may “petition to be removed from the blacklist.”

Boehringer, an 84-year old Australian law professor, said that he only learned about his status as a blacklisted foreigner when he handed his passport upon his arrival midnight of August 8. He has since been detained at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

Boehringer, a human rights advocate, is married to a Filipina.

Guevarra said that Australian was found to have “engaged in domestic protest actions in the past.” The Immigration bureau said Thursday morning that the Australian professor's supposed offense happened in 2015.

The Justice chief added that while Boehringer may appeal to be removed from the Immigration blacklist, the “delisting may not be compelled and is purely an act of grace on the part of the sovereign state.”

Gov’t not targeting any group

Guevarra also stressed that Immigration is not targeting any group in its exclusion of Boehringer, which comes in the wake of deportation orders against foreign missionaries said to have joined fact-finding missions in the country.

“The agency has excluded thousands of aliens from entering Philippine territory, including those who have engaged in clearly political activities in our country," the Justice chief added.

Rights group Karapatan on Tuesday slammed Boehringer’s impending and involuntary departure as  a "cowardly" act of a government "preventing individuals from exposing the gross rights violations happening in the country." 

Cristina Palabay, Karapatan’s secretary general, said: “It is deeply alarming how foreign nationals who express international solidarity with the Filipino people are barred [from] the country.” 

Palabay also called for Boehringer to be given due process in the case.

But Guevarra said that while he has no personal knowledge of the case, “an alien will be blacklisted after he has been found guilty of violating immigration laws in a proper deportation proceeding where he has been accorded due process."

“The BI is not targeting any group and is merely enforcing our immigration laws without discrimination,” he added.

Immigration spokesperson Dana Sandoval, in a statement, said that Boehringer was put on the Immigration blacklist for “reportedly participating in a rally in November 2015.”

Earlier in July, Immigration also sent home Zimbabwean missionary Tawanda Chandiwana and American missionary Adam Thomas Shaw who were said to be overstaying in the country.

Australian nun Patricia Fox, meanwhile, is fighting a legal battle to be allowed to return to the country she has spent the past 27 years of her life in.

Like Boehringer, Fox was ordered deported after its board of commissioners found that she engaged in political activities in the country. This is in violation of the Commonwealth Act 613, Section 9 (g) missionary visa and undesirable under Article 2711, Section 69, the Immigration said.

BUREAU OF IMMIGRATION DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
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