FIFTY Chinese nationals were arrested in Sarangani province by immigration officials on Friday after they were found to have falsely represented themselves as “skilled servicemen” who will conduct short-term work in a steel company.
Of the 50, only one was able to prove that he is a permanent resident of the Philippines, while “the rest of the 49 will be charged for violation of the Philippine Immigration Act of 1940,” Immigration Commissioner Jaime H. Morente said in a statement.
Under Section 23 of the law, “An immigration visa, or a passport visa, or a Reentry Permit, obtained by fraud or willful misrepresentation of fact shall be subject to cancellation by the issuing officer or by the Board of Commissioners.”
Mr. Morente said concerned citizens reported the presence of the foreigners in the region, prompting the bureau’s Mindanao Intelligence Task Group to look into the matter.
Investigations revealed that the foreigners secured work permits from the bureau in March claiming to be “skilled servicemen that would conduct short-time work in the company,” Mr. Morente said.
“However, when we conducted an audit, we confirmed that they falsified their documents and misrepresented themselves,” he added.
The Bureau of Immigration said “31 of the 50 foreigners were found to be conducting manual labor, while 18 were found to have been engaged in work inconsistent with their permit.”
The 49 foreigners are temporarily in a holding facility in Saranggani Province while waiting to be transferred to the warden facility of the Bureau of Immigration. — Bianca Angelica D. Añago