BI: Australian prof blacklisted for 'joining rally' in 2015

Kristine Joy Patag - Philstar.com
BI: Australian prof blacklisted for 'joining rally' in 2015
The Australian was barred from entering the country on August 8. He was allowed to rest and meet his family members due to “humanitarian request.”
Karapatan / Facebook page

MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Immigration on Thursday said that an Australian professor kept from entering the country was blacklisted due to his reported participation in a rally in 2015.

Dana Sandoval, the bureau’s spokesperson, confirmed that Gill Boehringer, an 84-year-old Australian professor and human rights advocate, was turned away from the airport because his on the bureau's blacklist.

“Boehringer was the subject of an order issued last year prohibiting [his] entry upon receipt of a report and recommendation for blacklisting from government intelligence sources,” the BI said.

Sandoval said that the Australian professor reportedly participated in a rally in November 2015 which is “in clear violation of the BI Operations Order prohibiting foreigners in engaging in political activities.”

Boehringer, in a phone interview with Philstar.com, said that prior to his August trip, he last entered the country in November 2017. He left the Philippines in March.

But the Australian, who is also married to a Filipina, said that he was only informed that he was placed on the Immigration blacklist when he “handed his passport” upon arrival, midnight of August 8.

Sandoval said Immigration, upon receiving government intelligence reports, had to verify Boehringer’s identity first before he was put on the blacklist

“The rule is if a foreign national is found to possess grounds for undesirability when in the country, he is charged for deportation. However, if the foreigner is outside the country, the process is summary, and he is immediately included in the BI’s blacklist,” Immigration added.

A foreigner’s inclusion on the blacklist is done “in the interest of public safety,” Sandoval added.

Appeal possible

Justice chief Menardo Guevarra has said that Boehringer may still appeal his case. However, a delisting, Guevarra stressed, “may not be compelled and is purely an act of grace on the part of the sovereign state.”

Sandoval, for her part, said that if Boehringer will submit “sufficient proof to reverse the blacklist, it may be lifted accordingly.”

The Australian was barred entry to the country on August 8. Guevarra said that he was allowed to rest and meet his family members before he was sent away due to “humanitarian request” of some individuals.

It was said that Boehringer has health problems.

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