BI Charges 5 'Fil-Shams,' Deportation Move Starts
Byline: jun ramirez and eddie alinea
The Bureau of Immigration (BI) yesterday filed charges of violating immigration laws against five foreign players of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) as the summary proceedings for their expulsion from the country began.
PBA players Rudolf Hatfield of Coca-Cola, Jonathan Ordonio of Alaska, Davonn Harp and Mick Pennisi of Red Bull, and Alex Crisano of Barangay Ginebra were charged before the BI board of commissioners for misrepresenting themselves as Philippine citizens.
Immigration Commissioner Alipio Fernandez Jr. said he ordered the filing of the charges after the DoJ directed the bureau to "undertake with hasty dispatch" the summary proceedings against the players popularly known as "Fil-shams."
"As ordered by Justice Sec. Raul Gonzales, we will act on this case with dispatch within eight to 10 days," Fernandez said, adding that once it is completed, all those concerned can be held and loaded into the next plane since the proceeding has the effect of a summary deportation.
The filing of charges against Pauliasi "Asi" Taulava was held in abeyance until such time that the preliminary injunction he secured from the regional trial court is lifted, Fernandez said.
"Should the injunction is lifted within the period the committees evaluation of the documents presented by the DoJ, then his case will be included," Fernandez assured. …