Did I hear it right that immigration officials will start profiling OUTGOING Filipinos, presumably to help curb human trafficking? And the immigration official may prevent the Filipino traveller from leaving the Philippines.
The point is d prevention of free movement. So if d immigration does't like ur answer and prevents you from flying what do YOU do?
A few minutes before I saw his tweet, I also saw this from philoquotes' tweet:
Free people, remember this maxim: we may acquire liberty, but it is never recovered if it is once lost. ~ Rousseau
I replied to Atty. Goyo that most government agencies can actually profile us citizens anytime they want to because they centralize many information about us -- the SSS, LTO, BIR, DFA, etc. That there is danger when government bureaucrats will use their power of prohibition, like prohibiting us from travelling, etc. And that government bureaucracies' profiling of citizens is idiotic and unfair if they themselves are not transparent. I went to the Bureau of Immigration website, there are no names or pictures of officials and other personnel. It is sort of a secret club with a website because it has to have one.
I also saw this report, Philippine Justice Secretary Sacked 18 Bureau of Immigration Personnel
Meanwhile, I have a friend who is going as a UN volunteer in one of the poorer countries in Asia. I asked him why he has not flown yet, he said that he and his batch of other Filipino volunteers are still waiting for the go-signal of the Bureau of Immigration.
I asked further why the Philippines' immigration office will hold them and not the immigration office of their destination country. The latter will decide if they are good and desirable aliens.
It turns out that BI made a wholesale suspicion of volunteers going abroad. BI caught 1 (or more?) Filipina/s who was posing as nun and UN volunteer, gave questionable papers, and BI presumed that many volunteers are now part of the human trafficking racket, even including UN Volunteers.
My friend said that some of his fellow UN volunteers were already about to board a plane, then they were prevented by the BI, not once but twice. They have to unload their baggage from the plane, got out of the departure lounge in embarrassment, and the flight of the remaining passengers was delayed.
Since those were legitimate UN volunteers, did the BI give an apology, or reimburse their unused plane ticket? I heard that BI gave neither. The organization/s that finance the trip of those Filipino volunteers has to spend extra for the flight re-booking of the volunteers.
There is a supposed memorandum of agreement (MOA) among BI, NEDA and the Philippine National Volunteer Service Agency (PNVSA) after that fake nun incident. But as of this week, the MOA has not been signed yet as the BI Chair is on leave.
The fake nun incident and the "profiling of outgoing Filipinos" that Atty. Goyo mentioned above could be related. It is a dangerous risk if BI personnel will prevent someone with legitimate trip abroad to be prevented from flying because of mere suspicion of something.
BI or other government agencies that will cause such unpleasant and unnecessary prevention of flying should get some penalty if their "intelligence" is wrong. Like suspending or sacking a whole team of officials who made the false accusation.
See also Migration and Freedom 7: Restrictions to OFWs, April 13, 2011