BI confirms raps vs 1,318 Chinese in Fontana raid

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    CLARK FREEPORT – The Bureau of Immigration (BI) has confirmed that that all of the 1,318 Chinese nationals that were arrested during a raid at the Fontana Leisure Parks here last Thursday will all be charged for violation of their visas.

    BI spokesperson Atty. Antonette B. Mangrobang said on Tuesday that the final count is 1,318 after the arrests of those who initially escaped from the raid were tallied.

    This is contrary to the report made by Mabalacat City police chief, Supt. Juritz Rara, who was quoted in the newspaper as claiming that “only 912 Chinese were rounded up and that all of them showed documents proving their legal stay in the Philippines.”

    Mangrobang said so far, only 99 have undergone inquest investigation as of Tuesday because of the sheer number of those who were arrested in the raid. “The validation of the immigration status is taking time because of the sheer number,” she said.

    She said the BI is still verifying and validating the immigration status of the others.

    Mangrobang said the BI will charge the Chinese nationals of violation of their visas for engaging in online gaming. She also said the overstaying Chinese will be deported while summary deportation proceedings will be made to those who engaged in online gaming.

    The BI clarified that none of the 1,318 Chinese arrested last Thursday have been released as they are still undergoing investigation by the bureau’s legal division.

    In a directive from the Department of Justice, the BI raided the Fontana operations of the call-center like facilities based on information that there were Chinese nationals illegally working there.

    The BI said it was the biggest single arrest of suspected illegal aliens that they have made so far.

    As this developed, Fontana members said they now know why they were denied villas almost all the time. In Facebook posts, not a few lambasted Fontana for allowing the illegal operations to the detriment of members and other visitors.

    One comment from a certain Elpidio Que claimed that “Chinese gambling lord Jack Lam runs the Fort Ilocandia Casino in Laoag and Fontana Casino in Clark legally, but operates an on-line casino illegally in Fontana.”

    “Here is the reason why there are no villas in Fontana,” said another.

    Meanwhile, Fontana general manager Dennis Pak could not be reached for comment. A receptionist promised to make a return call but no call was made as of press time.

    A local TV crew was also refused entry at Fontana on Monday.

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