Foreigners in Philippines warned against marching vs pork

Foreigners in Philippines warned against marching vs pork
A crowd of Filipinos hold placards as they gather to oppose "pork barrel" allocations given to legislators, which the protesters condemned as a major source of graft, at Luneta Park.

PHILIPPINES - Think twice before joining demonstrations in the country, the Bureau of Immigration on Monday warned foreigners, a few days after it deported a Canadian student arrested last week for joining a protest rally during President Aquino's State of the Nation Address in July.

The BI said it would arrest and deport foreign tourists caught joining protest rallies in the country, particularly demonstrations set against the pork barrel scam.

"As we have repeatedly stated, foreigners have no business joining these rallies as the act amounts to violating the conditions of their stay as tourists," BI OIC Commissioner Siegfred Mison said.

The bureau has tapped the Philippine National Police to help monitor the foreigners in such mass actions.

The BI said it was expecting more antipork rallies in the coming days.

On Friday, immigration officials detained Canadian student Kim Chatillon-Meunier, who had been placed on the BI watch list for joining the protest rally during Mr. Aquino's Sona in July.

She was allowed to leave on Sunday after the bureau issued a "voluntary deportation and release order" to her.

Another activist, Thomas van Beersum, was deported last month also for joining the Sona protest rallies outside Congress.

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