By Jun Ramirez
The Bureau of Immigration (BI) reminded anew foreign nationals not to participate in protest rallies when President Rodrigo Duterte delivers his State of the Nation Address (SONA) Monday.
BI Commissioner Jaime Morente reiterated the warning following intelligence reports that some alien tourists would join anti-government demonstrations staged by various political activists and opponents of the administration.
The BI chief stressed that foreigners are prohibited by law to engage in any political activity in the country and the agency has come out with BI Operations SBM No.2015-025 to implement it.
He cited several incidents in the past wherein foreign nationals were apprehended and deported for joining political rallies.
They included Australian nun Sister Patricia Fox whose visa was not renewed last year for violating the condition of her stay, actively participating in anti-government demonstrations.
Morente also mentioned Dutchman Thomas van Beersum who was also deported for joining a rally and taunting an anti-riot policeman during the first SONA of the President in 2013.
He said unlike Filipino citizens foreigners have no political rights to meddle in the internal affairs of a sovereign nation.
Once deported, Morente said, partisan visitors will be blacklisted and no longer allowed to return.