Wednesday, August 02, 2006

FROM THE BARREL OF MY PEN
By Gonzalo “Jun” Policarpio


TO CATCH A THIEF IN L.A.


When the Americans liberated the Philippines from the Japanese invaders in 1945, there were still some Filipinos who felt ungrateful and even blamed the United States for the Japanese occupation of the Philippines. That idea was without merit because the goal of Japan then was to conquer the whole of Asia under its hegemony called Japanese co-prosperity sphere.

Now, in today’s world, it is confirmed that the U.S. Embassy cancelled the visitor’s visa of Jocelyn “Joc Joc” Bolante, a fugitive from the Philippines charged with a serious crime of plunder subsequent to the Philippine Senate’s request for help in locating Bolante’s whereabouts in the United States. On July 7th, US immigration authorities arrested and detained Bolante when he tried enter the Los Angeles port of entry. Then, they notified the Philippine government represented by the Philippine Consulate in LA. to pick up their Wanted Person. But the Philippine government advised Bolante to apply for asylum instead. Still there are Filipinos who are not happy about it and would like to paint it as a conspiracy between the United States and the Arroyo administration. That attitude seems to signify an onset of paranoia. I hope not.

Dr. Minguita Padilla who is a noted Filipino ophthalmologist and the President of SINAG, a people’s crusade for good governance, expressed in a recent email to me her utter disgust toward certain elements in the Philippines peddling the “conspiracy theory” that’s being promoted by the media.

Here’s my simple response to Dr. Padilla’s email:



Dear Dr. Padilla:

I can understand how you feel back home living under
an exceedingly corrupt administration of Gloria
Macapagal Arroyo.

About the Bolante Case, the Filipino people are denied
of all the facts. When people don't know what's in the
box or what's going on, they tend to guess or
speculate. Sometimes their speculations reflect their
inner thoughts or perhaps just emotions.

The fact is without the US Embassy's decision to
cancel Bolante's visa, the bad guy would still be at
large. When I read that Malacanang, DFA, and
Philippine Immigration ignored Sen. Magsaysay's
request to cancel Bolante's passport, issue a hold
departure order, and sent him to the Senate to
testify, I could not take that anymore. IT'S
OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE, PURE AND SIMPLE.

I told Sen. Magsaysay and Sen. Pimentel sometime last
October via email that I would like to help them
collar the fugitive Bolante after issuing the Arrest
Warrant. I suggested that they provide copy of the
Arrest Warrant for Bolante and other related documents
to the attache office of the US Department of Homeland
Security and the FBI Liaison office at the US Embassy
in Manila. Then I also suggested that some parties
file criminal charges against Bolante in a court of
law.

I explained to the Senators that I once worked as US
Immigration Inspector, Special Operations in Newark,
NJ back in the mid 90s. I used to receive Lookout List
of fugitives Wanted by foreign governments. Normally
the list was in our computerized database and in some
cases the list was in paper format distributed to
Immigration Inspectors.

I will just presume based on my experience that
Bolante's name was in the computer Lookout List for
Wanted Persons as a result of Sen. Magsaysay's request
for help from the US Embassy. So when Bolante arrived
at the port of entry in LA, the inspector(currently
titled as Customs and Border Protection
Officer(CBP)spotted his name in the Wanted Persons
list with a revoked US visa and sent him to the
Secondary office at the airport for a thorough
interrogation.

When Bolante was confirmed to be the Wanted Person, he
was detained for a removal (deportation) proceedings.
According to SOP, the arresting officer(a member of
the Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Branch(ICE)notified the Phlippine Consulate to take
custody of the fugitive. I presume that the Consulate
personnel did not know what to do and asked for
intructions from the Home Office(DFA). The
instructions came and Bolante was advised to ask for
asylum to avoid deportation. The rest is current
history that we're writing.

Please suggest to those with Anti-American sentiments
to understand fully the facts and resort to fair play.
THERE IS NO CONSPIRACY WHATSOEVER BUT ONLY IN THE
MINDS OF THE CONSPIRATORS THEMSELVES.

I did experience injustice in America in my career but
I used the law and the courts. I was vindicated for
fighting what's right and just. The American
government is indeed a government of law. That's what
we're trying to set up in the Philippines whose
government is run by unscrupulous men and especially
by an abnormal woman.

Best regards,

Jun
junpolicarpio.com
junpoli.blogspot.com


As a postcript, Dr. Padilla requested me to help the team of Filipino lawyers led by Prof. Harry Roque of the University of the Philippines in submitting a Amicus Brief to the Immigration Court in San Pedro that has jurisdiction over Bolante's asylum application. Here's my simple suggestion to Prof. Roque:

Anyway, I'm confident that Bolante's application
> for
> asylum will be ruled by the IJ as a "FRIVOLOUS
> ASYLUM
> APPLICATION" and also his case will be denied on the
> ground that he is not eligible to the asylum
> benefit:
> INA(Immigration and Nationality
> Act)208(b)(2)(A)(iii)
> provides that an applicant for asylum is not
> eligible
> to be granted the status of a refugee if "there are
> serious reasons for believing that the alien has
> committed a serious nonpolitical crime outside the
> United States prior to arival in the United States."
>
> The fact is that Bolante has been charged of the
> crime
> of PLUNDER AND OTHER SERIOUS CRIMES IN THE
> PHILIPPINES
> AND THERE IS AN OUTSTANDING WARRANT FOR HIS ARREST.
>
> If my high hopes would be frustrated, then such is a
> good case for a US congressional inquiry or an
> investigation to be conducted by the Office of
> Professional Responsibility of the US Department of
> Justice.
>
> I have used various investigative agencies when I
> filed my own Federal Whistleblowing case back in
> 2000
> when I was still an Immigration Officer.
>
> However, if Bolante's case will be ruled as
> "frivolous" he shall be permanently barred from
> seeking another immigration benefit. And his
> "dirty"
> body will be immediately removed from the United
> States back into the hands of the Philippine Senate
> that issued a Warrant of Arrest.
>
> Regards,
>
> Jun

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