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Posted April 04, 2016 at 12:01 am by Rey E. Requejo
The Court of Appeals has affirmed a Manila City court’s decision declaring as valid the deportation order against former Basketball Association of the Philippines Secretary-General Graham Chua Lim.
In a 16-page decision penned by Associate Justice Eduardo B. Peralta Jr., the CA’s 4th Division ruled that the Manila Regional Trial Court is correct when it held that the Bureau of Immigration and former Justice Secretary Leila de Lima did not commit grave abuse of discretion when it ordered his deportation and inclusion in the bureau’s blacklist.
The CA stressed that “no reversible error committed” by the trial court when it sustained the BI and De Lima’s order.
It cited the finding that Lim is a Chinese citizen as he himself admitted in his bid to be naturalized as a Filipino, as well as the ruling of the Supreme Court on the same matter.
“Certainly, the Supreme Court resolution already denied his pleas for review of the finding that he is an undesirable alien. Therefore, as things stand, he is an undesirable alien who should be removed from the Philippines,” the appellate court ruled.
The CA added that the claim of statelessness “was a mere ploy to avoid deportation.”
On questioning De Lima’s authority to review the deportation order, the appellate court pointed out that De Lima was only enforcing the deportation order which has become final.
Lim was born on Feb.7, 1957 in the Philippines to Chinese parents How Ang Lim and Mary Lim Chua. In 1992, he married Filipina Racquel P. Lim, also the petitioner in this case.
In 2003, a complaint for deportation was filed against Lim, saying he was posing as a Filipino while undergoing naturalization proceedings.
The BI then charged him as an undesirable alien under Commonwealth Act 613 and the Philippine Immigration Act of 1940 for misrepresenting himself as a Filipino citizen and securing a Philippine passport.
That same year, the Department of Foreign Affairs informed the Immigration Bureau that Lim’s passport has been cancelled due to his Chinese citizenship.
Two years later, the BI learned that Lim was a Taiwanese citizen.
Lim filed a motion for reconsideration which was denied by the BI. He then took his case to the Office of the President who upheld the BI’s ruling.
Lim’s case reached the Supreme Court, but it was summarily dismissed.
On Dec. 7, 2009, Lim was arrested by virtue of a warrant for deportation. In 2010, he filed a petition that he be released on bail invoking his statelessness pointing out an alleged communication between a certain Nenita V. Mendoza and Mr. Wang Chia-Chi, Senior Advisor of Taipei Economic and Cultural Office allegedly declared Taiwan is not in a position to accept him.
The BI, still denied his bid to post bail.
Lim then filed a petition for habeas corpus before the Manila Regional Trial Court but denied it for lack of jurisdiction.
His second petition for bail, appealing for BI’s magnanimity and humanitarian heart, was granted by BI on conditions that he shall not be engaged in any gainful activity, not allowed to travel and prohibited from participating in sports activities or business and posting a P100,000 bond. Lim filed a partial motion for reconsideration particularly asking that he be allowed to engage in gainful activities and travel.
On the other hand, to verify his claim that he was stateless, the DFA conducted an inquiry and discovered that Lim had a Chinese passport.
In 2012, De Lima then ordered his immediate deportation. Lim then filed a petition for a temporary restraining order before the Manila RTC to which the court has denied. Lim was in Singapore when the deportation was enforced.
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