Palau Speaker Investigates Blacklist Barring Entry Into Philippines

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Supposed list includes Palauans accused of abusing migrant workers

KOROR, Palau (Island Times, Feb. 21, 2014) – House of Delegates (HOD) Speaker Sabino Anastacio has written Philippines Honorary Consul Eric Whipps asking about the alleged existence of a so-called blacklist that prevents some Palauans from entering the Philippines.

In his letter to Whipps dated February 4, 2014, Anastacio said that he has been approached by a number of Palauans who have inquired about a so-called blacklist that supposedly lists the names of Palauans that may have committed an offense as deemed by the government of the Philippines and have since been reported and placed on a blacklist that may or may not limit the options of persons from Palau who are traveling to the Philippines.

According to some people knowledgeable with the matter, the so-called blacklist reportedly bars the entry to the Philippines of Palauan citizens who have abused and maltreated Filipino migrant workers or have committed other crimes against Filipino nationals working and residing in the island nation. Palau is home to more than 2,000 Filipino nationals, most of whom are migrant workers.

"In light of this concern that has been raised, I am writing to first inquire whether such list exists so we can validate its existence," the Speaker said.

Anastacio said that if such list exists, he is asking the help of Whipps and other concerned agencies to address the matter.

"Secondly, if such list does exist, I am kindly requesting your assistance along with that of the Ministry of State and the Ministry of Justice, to properly address the issue at hand by determining its impact and ramifications on the citizens of the Republic of Palau," the Speaker stated.

"In doing so, I believe that we can work toward strengthening our ties with our good friend and ally, the Republic of the Philippines, by addressing the issue and perhaps proposing possible measures that can help resolve this matter that may hinder our efforts in helping one another," Anastacio further said.

There is still no word if Whipps has already replied to the inquiry of Speaker Anastacio.

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