The Bureau of Immigration (BI) will deport 10 Chinese nationals who illegally landed aboard a luxury yacht in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan without securing proper immigration papers prior to their arrival.

In a statement, the BI identified the Chinese crewmen and passengers of the vessel SY Me Li 31 who landed in the country without permission from port authorities as Zhang Dengkang, Lin Huawei, Zhou Wei, Xu Yuansen, Lou Xioqiang, Zhao Zhoujin, Chang Liujing, Luo Shui Sheng, Chen Zhen Qi, and Zhao Jian Hui. 

Deportation proceedings against the Chinese nationals were already ordered by BI Commissioner Jaime Morente after a team from the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) apprehended the vessel on Monday, 20 July 2020, off the coast of Brgy. Concepcion, Puerto Princesa City. 

The illegal visitors violated Philippine immigration laws for entering the country without a visa and prior notice/clearance from the Bureau and other port authorities. 

BI Seaport Operations Chief Alnazib Decampong said that the said immigration rules require the agent or operators of all vessels going to the Philippines to submit an advance notice of their arrival as well as the crew list and passenger manifest to the Bureau. 

The Chinese nationals are currently quarantined inside their yacht in the waters near the Honda Bay Beach Resort in Puerto Princesa City.

“They will remain in their ship until they are deported. We will not allow them to disembark and go ashore, not only for [their] having no visas, but also because foreigners like them are restricted from entering the country due to Covid-19,” Decampong said. 

He added that the impounded yacht may be confiscated and forfeited under the Philippine Immigration Act.   (RJ Espartinez)