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Cablegate: No Response to Demarche On Undocumented Filipinos

VZCZCXYZ0003
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHML #2682 3450225
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 100225Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 2633

UNCLAS MANILA 002682

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS


E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL CJAN RP
SUBJECT: No Response to demarche on undocumented Filipinos
awaiting deportation

REF: A) Burgwinkle-Haynes e-mail 12/06/2008 RE:
Deportations WG - Philippine Case update
B) STATE 56512

1. (U) As requested in Ref A, this telegram is to record
formally Post's actions to date in response to Ref B
concerning the cases of Armando Sierda Abad and David
Valasote Miraflor. They remain in U.S. custody after
allegedly renouncing their Filipino citizenship to avoid
deportation. The Government of the Philippines has not
issued them travel documents and has not responded to the
demarche urging documentation. Post will continue to
follow up.

2. (SBU) Demarche: On June 4, 2008, Consul General and
Deputy Political Counselor delivered demarche to the
Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs Domingo "Doy"
Lucenario, Jr., and the Director of the United States
Division of the Office of American Affairs Ariel Rodelas
Penaranda. Lucenario was prepared for the meeting, and he
noted that if the practice of not documenting after
renunciation became widespread, there might be additional
cases in which the Philippines might be unable to extradite
people it wished to have returned here. Besides the issue
of whether the renunciations of citizenship by Abad and
Miraflor were valid, he said there was a second issue the
legal staff would have to address: whether the Philippines
could issue a passport for a person who had not applied for
one. He judged the second issue was less difficult for
them than the first He said his staff believed that the
problems had been addressed before, and they were
researching to find how earlier cases had been resolved.
He told the Consul General that he expected his legal
advisors would provide an answer very soon; he hoped to
provide an answer in writing "within a week or two."

4. (SBU) Follow up: During a meeting in Lucenario's office
on August 28, 2008, Post's Fraud Prevention Manager again
raised the issue of documenting Filipino citizens awaiting
deportation. Lucenario said that the issue had been
referred to the legal office in June, but that that office
had not had an assistant secretary for the last 3 months.
He said he had tried to refer the issue to the Under
Secretary, but the question was sent back to the legal
office. The new secretary was briefed on the issue when he
took the position shortly before the August 28 meeting, and
Lucenario indicated that he had another meeting with him
later that day and would raise it again. Lucenario
committed to providing a response within one week. Post
has had no further word from the Department of Foreign
Affairs. Post will follow up.

KENNEY

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