Deaf denied exit by Bureau of Immigration

As of 8 am, October 7, 2010, the Bureau of Immigrations under the directive of Under Sec. Jovy Salazar of the Department of Justice has placed Mr. Franklin Corpuz on a Qatar-bound flight this morning. This is to rectify the situation and treatment Mr. Corpuz received on 4 October, 2010. This was made possible thru the appeal of Prof. Raul Pangalangan of the U.P. College of Law. A full investigation is ongoing. Mr. Corpuz intends to file formal legal action against the Immigrations Officer. He STILL needs your support for this.

Please send LETTERS OF PROTEST to:

  1. snail mail: Atty. Ronaldo Ledesma
    Bureau of Immigrations
    Magallanes Drive, Intramuros
  2. email (please CC me:
    Dept. Of Justice Action Center
    Attn: Romeo D. Galvez
  3. by fax: Tel. 521-1614

This is not an official press release. I just want to get this out so more people will know. I'll update this post as soon as I get more information. This is from an email sent by Dr. Martinez of the Philippine Deaf Resource Center (PDRC), edited to include links and notes.

Name of passenger: Franklin Galano Corpuz
Disability: Deaf
Flight: Bound for Qatar via Qatar Airways QR 645, October 4, 2010; 635a.m.

Documents presented at Immigrations (shall be faxed separately):

  1. Affidavit of Support from Al Mana Interiors
  2. Detailed Invitation to take part in Business Training
  3. Visa paper from Ministry of Interior, State of Qatar
  4. Passport with Qatar visa
  5. Airplane ticket

Purpose of trip:
Invited by company for Business Training and orientation on program for Persons With Disabilities and eventual employment. Program specifically recruits PWDs, two other Filipinos have been placed in Qatar, one Deaf, the other mobility-challenged(Link)

Highlights of incident:
F. Corpuz arrived at NAIA early 4 October 2010 and checked in. He was accompanied by a Qatar Airways flight attendant to the Immigrations counter. Upon being told by the flight attendant that Mr. Corpuz is Deaf,the Immigrations counter officer directs him to the Bureau of Immigrations Office. He is interviewed there by an Immigrations officer (male) who says that he will be disallowed because he is “deaf and CANNOT SPEAK”. He was then asked to leave the airport.

[PDRC] placed a call to the NAIA Immigrations Office this morning and spoke with Ms. Gladys Castillo and Mr. Jeff Ignacio (administrative staff). They said that as a matter of policy they are not allowed to release the name of the Immigrations Officer who interviewed Mr. Corpuz. Ms. Castillo said to send any letters of complaint to Atty. Ronaldo Ledesma, OIC of Bureau of Immigrations. Mr. Ignacio on the other hand said that in their Indicator Checklist for Offloading, the remarks were as follows: “No sufficient proof that his trip is for business to Qatar considering that he is deaf and mute.” He said that it was not specified as to what proof or documentation was lacking.