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Reconsider expulsion of Dutch missionary, BI told

Rhodina Villanueva, Evelyn Macairan (The Philippine Star) - February 23, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Immigration (BI) was asked yesterday to reconsider the expulsion of a Dutch lay missionary accused of involvement in illegal political rallies reportedly organized by terrorist groups.

The BI has cancelled the permanent resident visa of Otto de Vries, a 62-year-old Church worker from the Diocese of Rotterdam in the Netherlands, based on the recommendation of the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency.

The NICA alleged that De Vries was engaged in protests actions of communist front organizations.

He was ordered to leave the Philippines within 30 days.

De Vries allegedly took part in rallies led by the Ecumenical Institute for Labor Education and Research (EILER) and the labor group Kilusang Mayo Uno.

The Church People Workers Solidarity (CWS) headed by Negros Occidental Bishop Gerardo Alminaza urged the BI to reconsider the deportation of De Vries.

The CWS called on the government to recognize the contributions of De Vries in advancing the rights of Filipino workers and the poor.

Rights group Karapatan also expressed support for the Dutch missionary and described his deportation as “harassment.”

De Vries, who works as a volunteer researcher for EILER, has been living in a slum community in Pasig for the past 20 years.

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