5 Pinoy household workers invited by Malaysia official offloaded

By Rudy Santos (The Philippine Star) - October 21, 2012 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Five Filipino household workers invited to visit Malaysia for a month by Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah Haji Aman were prevented from leaving the country, allegedly by a confidential agent of the Bureau of Immigration (BI), as they were about to board their flight at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1 (NAIA-1) Tuesday.

The BI’s Travel Control and Enforcement Unit (TCEU) reported that the five Filipinos – Maricel Cancejo, Janeth Revadona, Rene Revadona, Decemera Salceda and Wendelyn Tacotaco – were accompanied by a Malaysian diplomat when a woman identified as BI confidential agent Nelia Buenaflor barred them from leaving.

Buenaflor, sources said, is a retired brigadier general who served as chief nurse of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. BI Commissioner Ricardo David, who retired as AFP chief, reportedly appointed her himself.

TCEU personnel alleged that Buenaflor told them, “Don’t you know your jobs? How long have you been at your jobs for you to allow them to leave?” She also reportedly asked members of the TCEU why they let other Malaysian diplomats board the flight without passing through the immigration counters.

The TCEU said only its personnel, not BI confidential agents, are authorized to offload passengers.

TCEU personnel, who asked not to be identified, said their colleagues told Buenaflor the five Filipinos were supposed to leave with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, who arrived on Oct. 14 to witness the signing of the framework agreement between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in Malacañang.

The five Filipinos, the TCEU said, were supposed to be on a familiarization tour in Malaysia for a month and were supposed to return to the Philippines. Sources said they were supposed to work for a Malaysian official after their tour.

The TCEU said the Filipinos have a return ticket, while BI intelligence chief Ma. Antonette Mangrobang said the Filipinos were prevented from leaving the country because they did not have a return ticket and were leaving on tourist visas.

The Malaysian diplomat reportedly called Aman, who contacted Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario regarding the incident. Del Rosario then called David to allow the departure of the five Filipinos.

Since there were no more flights to Malaysia that day, the Filipinos boarded a Malaysian Airlines flight the next day, the TCEU said.

 

ANTONETTE MANGROBANG ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES BUENAFLOR BUREAU OF IMMIGRATION COMMISSIONER RICARDO DAVID DECEMERA SALCEDA AND WENDELYN TACOTACO DEL ROSARIO FILIPINOS FIVE FILIPINO FOREIGN AFFAIRS SECRETARY ALBERT TCEU
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