Same old story with a different twist but it again shows how vulnerable every foreigner is in the Philippines.
If you read Justin’s story posted earlier by VFaB titled “Unfortunate Series of Events” , closure/realization for Justin came with this letter from his ex (email photo-shot).
Again and again we have seen foreigners arrested at the whim of a partner, girlfriend, wife or business. Often as with Justin a “lovers tiff” triggers a vengeful visit to the Bureau of Immigration (BI) who are all too pleased to be given another victim to “arrest” extort and deport. It is so ridiculously easy, just a phone call will do, that it even surprises the complainant. But, too late for regrets, once reported there is no going back or stopping immigration.
Without wishing to belittle Justin’s dreadful experience or the gross injustice served upon him we do have to say that he was one of the lucky ones. Justin got away after four months and did not lose too much. Some are not so lucky and it can be four years or more of hell and torture, a great deal of money, and his life savings before he/she can go.
The scam is so easy to run and immigration so eager to run with it (hate the foreigner,love their money) that all the partner need do is claim some sort of abuse and file a complaint and the foreigner can be in a city jail or immigration detention for years until the case is dismissed.
Almost all of these vengeful cases fail eventually because they are rarely prosecuted, the partner fails to go to hearings or cannot produce evidence etc. But the courts are so slow it can take years for an accused to get a case dismissed.
Even then many of these victims continue to be held by immigration for a further two years. These “vengeful cases” usually end with the accused filing a motion to dismiss on the grounds of a failure to prosecute or a failure to provide a speedy trial. Courts try to save face for themselves and prosecution by giving provisional dismissals rather than acquittals. A provisional dismissal means that the case is archived but remains open for a period of two years (usually) before it is finally dismissed. Theoretically the case could be reopened during this two year period but in practice they never are. If the accused is a Filipino he goes free but if he is a foreigner immigration will hold the accused for those two years just on the off chance the case it is revived.
So, after four or five years the foreigner is resigned to the fact that his former partner gets to keep his house (had to be in the Filipino partners name in first place anyway), business and assets (cars etc.) and he is so desperate to go he dreams only of the day he has permission to buy his ticket out of it – and holds his breath all the way to the airport – Just in Case.