BI says aliens can still be deported despite acquittal from crime raps

A foreigner who had been acquitted of a criminal case can still be deported for violation of Philippine immigration laws, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) said.

(Photo from BI Facebook page)

The BI applied this ruling when it ordered the deportation of a Swiss-Italian national for being an undesirable alien after the court cleared him in a criminal case.

In a five-page order issued by the BI board of commissioners last May 28, the bureau ordered the immediate deportation of Alfred Josef Honegger, 67, who was found managing a restaurant in Cordova, Cebu.

Chaired by BI Commissioner Jaime Morente, the three-man board concurred with the findings of the bureau’s board of special inquiry (BSI) that Honegger’s activities deprived Filipinos of jobs and business opportunities which should have been strictly reserved to them.

Honegger earlier sought the dismissal of his deportation case as some of the criminal complaints filed against him were dismissed by the Cebu provincial prosecutor’s office.

But the BI explained that unlike in a criminal proceeding, deportation is an administrative action where the evidence required is not a proof beyond reasonable doubt.

“The acquittal of an accused in a criminal case does not bar the deportation of an alien, who has been established by competent evidence to have committed acts contrary to morals, good customs, public order, or public policy,” said the BI resolution.

It added that it found numerous pieces of evidence to establish that Honegger is an undesirable alien by intervening and controlling a business strictly reserved to Filipinos.