GENERAL SANTOS CITY – Immigration authorities rounded up some 48 Chinese nationals employed in a steel company based in Sarangani province for allegedly issuing false statements in their work permit applications.
A report from the Sarangani Police Provincial Office accessed by the media on Monday afternoon said personnel from the Bureau of Immigration (BI) took custody of the foreigners following an operation at the compound of Panhua Industrial Steel Inc. in Barangay Kamanga, Maasim town last April 30.
The operation, backed by policemen from the Maasim municipal police station, was based on a mission order issued by BI Commissioner Jaime Morente.
Maj. Herman Luna, Maasim police chief, said in an interview on Tuesday the foreigners were held after failing to present proper documents.
Rounded up were the group’s alleged leader identified as Guiang Xiao and 47 other workers, who are currently under the BI custody.
He said BI personnel verified whether the Chinese are skilled or just common workers of the steel company.
“They stated under oath false statements or representations in the documents submitted in support of their application for issuance of special work permit,” he said.
Luna said the Chinese nationals reportedly violated Section 45 of the Philippine Immigration Act of 1940.
Sittie Almaida Kapampangan, BI-Sarangani head, refused to issue any comment on the matter noting that she was “not authorized” to do so.
The steel plant is located within the Kamanga Agro-Industrial Ecozone, which is near the coal-fired power plant of the Sarangani Energy Corporation.