Immigration Bureau arrests alleged US pedophile in Cebu

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 14, 2020   •   1078

MANILA, Philippines — An alleged American pedophile, wanted for sex crimes in the United States (US) has been arrested in Cebu, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) announced on Sunday (December 13).

Donald Robert Tyler, 57, was arrested in his home in Brgy. San Roque, Ginatilan, Cebu by joint operatives of the bureau’s fugitive search unit (FSU) and National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on Thursday (December 10).

“The arresting agents were reportedly armed with a mission order which Morente issued at the request of American authorities in Manila,” the BI reported.

Based on a report, Tyler is subject of an arrest warrant issued by a circuit Court in Josephine County, Oregon on November 4 last year.

The BI said Tyler is a retiree in the Philippines, but is already considered an undocumented alien due to the cancellation of his passport by the State Department. The agency also added he will be banned from re-entering the Philippines for being an “undesirable alien.”

Tyler will be temporarily detained at the BI warden facility in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City pending his deportation. AAC

Duterte to join democracy summit hosted by US – Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   December 8, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte is set to participate in the “Summit for Democracy” to be hosted by the United States government this week, Malacañang said.

In a statement, the Office of the President said Duterte will join the summit set on December 9 to 10 “upon the invitation of US President Joe Biden.”

“President Biden has invited heads of state and government, other government leaders and voices from the business and nongovernment sectors to join the US in taking action to strengthen democracy,” the Palace said.

Malacañang said Duterte “has accepted” Biden’s invitation.

“President Duterte likewise welcomes the opportunity to share the Philippine democratic experience and commitment to democratic values and nation-building at the Summit for Democracy,” it added.

Biden will convene world leaders from government, the private sector, business and the civil society in the virtual summit. It will focus on challenges and opportunities facing democracies and will provide a platform for leaders to announce both individual and collective commitments, reforms, and initiatives to defend democracy and human rights at home and abroad, according to the US State Department.

The summit has three key themes: Defending against authoritarianism, addressing and fighting corruption, and promoting respect for human rights.

The United States said the summit will offer an opportunity to listen, learn, and engage with a diverse range of actors whose support and commitment is critical for global democratic renewal.

Bojo village in Cebu among UN’s 2021 ‘best tourism villages’ in the world

Robie de Guzman   •   December 6, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – An area in Cebu has been recognized as one of the world’s “Best Tourism Villages” this year by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the Department of Tourism (DOT) Central Visayas office said.

The DOT said the Bojo village in Aloguinsan, Cebu was among this year’s 44 communities in 32 countries that made it to the UNWTO list.

Bojo was the lone winner from the Philippines.

“Congratulations to Bojo, Aloguinsan, Cebu for being chosen as one of the World’s Best Tourism Villages for 2021 by the UNWTO. From more than 170 nominations submitted by 75 countries, Bojo, Aloguinsan shined bright as the lone winner from the Philippines,” the agency said in its social media account.

In its website, the UNWTO said the initiative was launched “to advance the role of tourism in safeguarding rural villages, along with their landscapes, natural and cultural diversity, and their local values and activities, including local gastronomy.”

It said the villages chosen this year “stand out for their natural and cultural resources as well as for their innovative and transformative actions and commitment to the development of tourism in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”

The UNWTO said the villages were evaluated by an independent advisory board based on a set of criteria, including cultural and natural resources; promotion and conservation of cultural resources; economic, social, and environmental sustainability; tourism potential and development and value chain integration; governance and prioritization of tourism; infrastructure and connectivity; and health, safety and security.

“Tourism can be a driver of social cohesion and inclusion by promoting a fairer distribution of benefits throughout the territory and empowering local communities,” UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili was quoted as saying in its website.

“This initiative recognizes those villages committed to making tourism a strong driver of their development and wellbeing,” he added.

The awarding ceremony held in Madrid, Spain last December 2 was attended and represented by the Spain Ambassador to the Philippines, Mr. Philippe Jones Lhuillier and Asec. Verna Esmeralda C. Buensuceso.

The complete list can be viewed here.

The UNWTO said the next edition will open in February 2022.

PH Immigration bureau reminds airline firms: Board passengers only from allowable countries

Robie de Guzman   •   November 29, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Monday reminded airline companies to carefully check the documents of travelers prior to boarding, to ensure that only those allowed entry may fly to the Philippines.

The bureau issued the reminder after the Philippine government expanded the “Red” list of countries due to the looming threat of the Omicron COVID-19 variant.

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) recently announced entry restrictions for inbound passengers coming from several areas in South Africa and seven countries in Europe that have reported cases of the new coronavirus variant.

The “Red” list now includes South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Eswatini and Mozambique, Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Belgium and Italy. The new policy is effective from November 28 until December 15.

“We are conducting 100% passport inspection to ensure that we see the complete travel history of the arriving passengers,” BI Port Operations Division Chief Atty. Carlos Capulong said in a statement.

Capulong said passengers who are inadmissible but were allowed to board will be denied entry to the country and  will warrant a penalty to the erring airline.

The IATF resolution stated that travelers, regardless of vaccination status, who are coming from or who have been to the Red List areas within the last 14 days prior to their arrival will not be allowed to enter the Philippines.

Only Filipinos returning to the country via government-initiated or non-government-initiated repatriation and Bayanihan flights may be allowed entry. However, they will be subject to the prevailing entry, testing, and quarantine protocols for Red List territories.

Passengers already in transit and all those who have been to the said Red List areas within 14 days before their arrival to the Philippines, who arrive before 12:01 a.m. of November 30, 2021, shall not be subject to this restriction from entry.

“They shall nevertheless be required to undergo facility-based quarantine for 14 days with testing on the 7th day, with day 1 being the date of arrival, notwithstanding a negative RT-PCR result,” the IATF said.

Passengers who have already arrived prior to November 28, and are currently undergoing quarantine pursuant to the classifications of their country of origin, shall complete their respective testing and quarantine protocols.

Passengers, whether Filipinos or foreigners, merely transiting through the Red List areas, will not be deemed as having come from these areas if they stayed in the airport the whole time and were not cleared for entry into such country by its immigration authorities.

“Upon their arrival in the Philippines, passengers covered by the immediately preceding paragraph shall comply with existing testing and quarantine protocols,” the task force said.

The Philippine government also temporarily suspended the resolution providing for the entry of fully vaccinated nationals of non-visa required countries.

“For now, the current general travel restrictions stand. Only Filipinos, balikbayan, and those with long term visas from green and yellow list countries may be allowed entry,” the immigration bureau said.

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