THE Philippines is not a haven for aliens who are fugitives from justice.
This was the strong declaration made yesterday by Bureau of Immigration (BI) Commissioner Jaime Morente as he announced the arrest of a South Korean woman last July 31 by the agency’s intelligence operatives for being a wanted fugitive.
Morente said that Eom Jae Hwa, 54, is wanted for swindling and was arrested by operatives of the BI Fugitive Search Unit in Clark Field, Pampanga. She is now set to be deported to her home country.
Eom was arrested on the strength of a deportation warrant that was issued against her by the BI Board of Commissioners on December 2 last year. Said warrant was issued pursuant to a summary deportation order that the board issued against the Korean for being an undesirable, overstaying and undocumented alien.
“This should serve as a warning to other wanted foreign criminals to stop using the Philippines as a sanctuary or refuge. The long arm of the law will catch you and the Bureau of Immigration is leading the charge,” Morente said.
Records show that Eom had been hiding in the Philippines for more than five years or since she fled Korea to evade prosecution for her crimes. Her failure to extend her tourist visa and renew her passport classifies her as an illegally staying alien.
According to BI spokesperson Atty. Ma. Antonette Mangrobang, said Korean is wanted in connection with the transaction she had entered into on Feb. 28, 2011 with a company in Pohang, South Korea, to deliver five sets of bio-diesel production machines to China. The machines were exported and delivered but Eom never paid for them as she had promised.
Mangrobang said the Korean then fled to Manila three months later and hid here until her capture last Sunday.
The fugitive’s arrest became possible after informants tipped BI operatives that she was spotted frequently at the former Clark Air Base in Angeles City, Mangrobang added.
The BI, she said, is keeping a sustained momentum in the campaign against overstaying and illegal aliens using the country as hiding place to evade prosecution for crimes committed in other countries.