Dutch in SONA protest held at NAIA, declared 'undesirable alien'
Louis Bacani (The Philippine Star) - August 6, 2013 - 1:28pm

MANILA, Philippines - The Dutch national photographed confronting a crying policeman during the State of the Nation Address (SONA) protest was held by immigration authorities on Tuesday.

Wilson Soloren, chief of the Bureau of Immigration’s (BI) intelligence unit based at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 1, said Thomas van Beersum was held as he is under summary deportation for violation of stay as a tourist in the country.

Soloren said a foreign national cannot join in any anti-government actions as it will automatically put the foreigner under investigation.

Van Beersum was supposed to leave the country Tuesday morning on board China Southern Airlines flight CZ-378 for Beijing, China.

Authorities made him booked on the next flight out of Manila heading for his home in The Netherlands pending a clearance from the National Bureau of Investigation.

The Dutch national was allowed to leave the country, but could not return as he has been declared as an undesirable alien.

Earlier, the BI said foreigners who participated in the mass actions during the SONA last July 22 are under probe.

Van Beersum made headlines after a photo showing him shouting at PO1 Joselito Sevilla went viral on social networking sites. He was in the country to attend the International Conference on Human Rights and Peace in the Philippines.

The Dutch activist said he attended the SONA protest because he had been "outraged by the human rights violations committed by the corrupt Aquino regime."

"I am tired of the extrajudicial killings, the illegal arrests, the forced demolitions, the land-grabbings, the puppetry to US-imperialism, tired of all the oppression and exploitation of the workers, farmers, students, women, indigenous, urban poor, LGBTs, and all other oppressed groups," he said in his open letter posted on his Facebook page.

During the protest, he faced Sevilla, who is now known as the "crying cop" after going emotional during the violence that ensued in the protests.

Militant group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) condemned the reported incident.

"We strongly denounce the detention of Dutch activist Thomas van Beersum by the Bureau of Immigration. We demand his immediate release as he is already on his way out of the country," Bayan said in a statement.

"We demand that his rights be respected, that he not be paraded like a criminal and that he is allowed to confer with his lawyers from NUPL led by Atty. Rey Cortez and the different human rights groups," the group added.

BAGONG ALYANSANG MAKABAYAN BAYAN BEERSUM BUREAU OF IMMIGRATION CHINA SOUTHERN AIRLINES HUMAN RIGHTS AND PEACE INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE JOSELITO SEVILLA NATIONAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION VAN BEERSUM
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