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By Gemma Q. Casas and Agnes E. Donato

SAIPAN, CNMI (Marianas Variety, Aug. 19) - A wooden boat arrived
on Saipan last Friday with seven passengers — one U.S. citizen and six
Filipinos, including a woman and an infant, according to acting Immigration
Director Antonio P. Sablan.

The six Filipinos did not have proper travel documents, he said.

The American and the Filipinos — with the exception of the
20-month-old infant — appeared yesterday before Superior Court Judge Juan T.

William Frank Malpezzi of California was charged with 12 counts
of aiding and abetting illegal entry. His bail was set at $12,000.

Robert Taganas, 31; Ronie Inocencio, 21; Dennis Gajisan, 31;
Adonis Adajar, 22; and Arlyn Adajar, 30, Malpezzi’s girlfriend and the mother
of the child, are facing deportation proceedings.

Lizama set a $10,000 cash bail for each, except for the child
who was born in Cagayan de Oro City in Mindanao, southern Philippines.

All of them are detained at the Division of Immigration’s
detention facility near the Saipan international airport.

According to Arlyn Adajar, Malpezzi wanted to marry her on

Malpezzi, 37, appeared with attorney Tim Farrell, who said his
client should not have been arrested as they were here only because of the bad
weather. "This is a mistake. He was totally surprised by this,"
Farrell said.

Adonis Adajar said they originally came from Romblon island in
the central Philippines and were looking for jobs.

Arlyn Adajar said they are being treated very well at the
detention facility and are given meals on time. However, she said they don’t
have enough clothes and the baby needs milk. They are appealing to the local
community for assistance.

Immigration authorities said they have already informed the
Philippine Consulate General on Saipan about the incident. But at the hearing
yesterday, there was no representative from the consulate.

Sablan said the vessel arrived at Saipan’s Mobil Delta Dock at
about 11 a.m. Friday.

According to a report by The Yap Networker, a weekly newspaper
in Yap, the single hull boat named "Arlyn" was spotted by a villager
from Amin, Maap entering the Miil Channel in Yap on the evening of July 23.

Malpezzi was reportedly carrying a U.S. passport issued at the
U.S. Embassy in Manila, while the remaining six were all holding Philippine

The newspaper reported that the boat stopped in Palau earlier,
but only Malpezzi was allowed to disembark, because he is a U.S. citizen.
Malpezzi bought food, drinks "and made a few calls," the report said.

Variety’s sister publication, Palau Horizon, quoted a Palau
immigration official as saying that bad weather forced the boat to enter Palau
waters last July 8.

"A check of the travel documents of the foreigners showed
that their passports did not go through proper immigration procedure in the
Philippines," Horizon said.

August 19, 2003

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