No order yet to prevent entry of ICC representatives

MANILA The Bureau of Immigration (BI) has yet to receive a formal order from MalacaAang on the plan to ban representatives of the International Criminal Court from entering the country, if their purpose is to investigate the government's war against illegal drugs.

None yet. Regulation of entry of foreign nationals is part of BI's mandate. Haven't received anything related to this so far, BI spokesperson Dana Krizia Sandoval said in an interview Tuesday.

Sandoval, however, said ICC representatives may enter the country as tourists.

They are welcome to come here as tourists, perhaps to see the renewed beauty of Boracay. Foreign nationals are very much welcome to visit the Philippines as we encourage tourism, but visitors must respect and comply with our laws, Sandoval said.

She explained that the purpose of foreign travelers would be known during the assessment of travel documents presented at the airport.

Assessment would depend on purpose of travel presented (if at the airports), or at the actual activities conducted if already in the country, Sandoval said.

She, however, warned visitors who would not declare the true nature of their visit.

That could be violation of the condition of their stay. As with any foreign national, violation of the conditions of stay could be grounds for deportation, Sandoval added.

On Monday, MalacaAang said that ICC representatives will not be allowed to enter the country in case they insist on investigating complaints against President Rodrigo Duterte regarding his campaign against illegal drugs.

The Philippines' withdrawal from the Rome Statute took effect on March 17. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency

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