BI Probe Power Restored

Article excerpt

President Estrada has restored the power of the Bureau of Immigration (BI) to investigate the arrest of aliens suspected of violating the country's immigration laws.

This was announced yesterday by Immigration Commissioner Rufus Rodriguez after he received a copy of Executive Order No. 287 establishing the guidelines on how the BI should operate in its campaign against illegal aliens.

Rodriguez thanked Mr. Estrada for issuing the order, saying there is no more obstacle for the BI to renew and intensify its crackdown on illegal aliens.

The executive order which was signed last Sept. 4 returned to the BI commissioner the authority to issue mission orders directing agents of the bureau to investigate and verify the immigration status of foreigners and, "if probable cause exists, to effect the warrantless arrest of said aliens if found in flagrante violating Philippine immigration laws."

The Chief Executive said the authority of the BI chief to issue mission orders is necessary in the interest of "national security, public health and public safety."

It will be recalled that the BI's power to arrest illegal aliens was withdrawn by the Department of Justice (DOJ) in August last year when then Justice Secretary Serafin Cuevas issued an order stopping the immigration commissioner from issuing mission orders to investigate and arrest suspected illegal aliens. …