A Facebook post demonizing a Philippine Bureau of Immigration officer for unprofessional behavior has been making rounds and being circulated.
The officer involved, Sidney Roy Dimandal, is the officer accused by Gabriel Apostol and Ma. Critina Bucton of unjust vexation, grave oral defamation and slander, in connection to Republic Act 3019 o Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, Grave Misconduct, Conduct, Conduct Unbecoming of a Public Official, Abuse of Authority and Oppression.
The case has been filed in the Office of the Ombudsman.
The incident happened on November 22, 2014, 4 to 5AM. Apostol and Bucton were preparing for departure. They were said to be leaving for employment.
Here, Dimandal accosted Bucton and ordered her to go all the way back in the queue.
The couple recounted how Dimandal demanded for their credentials and documents, accusing Bucton of possibly departing the country to be a prostitute.
Dimandal particularly demanded for a legitimate National Statistics Office (NSO) Marriage Certificate, which the couple allegedly could not produce, claiming to be newlyweds.
Bucton noted how Dimandal was extremely condescending towards them.
The couple tried to negotiate with the officer, but when asked to talk to a higher officer, Dimandal became furious, and dared them to file a complaint.
Bucton claimed to have documented and took a video of the incident, vowing to file a complaint.
On the other hand, the immigration body has an explanation as to why Bucton was refused clearance. The bureau claimed that the couple used questionable documents to get past inspection.
Bucton was told to defer her departure when she failed to prove the legitimacy of her travel.
“Pursuant to the guidelines on departure formalities, the passenger was requested to submit additional documents to prove her travel”, explained BI spokesperson Elaine Tan.
It was Bucton’s second attempt to depart. BI records show that she initially attempted to traveled with a ‘sponsor’ pointed as Apostol, whom she claimed to be her cousin. At the time of the encounter with Dimandal, the immigration body has noted that it was her second attempt. Bucton claimed by then that Apostol is her husband.
“Instances like this happen very often and our immigration officers are always on the lookout for similar schemes”, Tan said further.
During the incident, it was here where Bucton even threatened to resort to media attacks against the immigration officers.
“Our immigration officers know that they should not be swayed by any form of threat or insinuations as long as they know what is right”, said Tan.
No videos of Bucton’s supposed encounter with Dimandal has surfaced as of this writing.
For those siding with Bucton’s statement, there may be indeed something wrong with how Dimandal handled them.
But given the BI has records that Bucton has tried something funny before, this may be another case of the wrongdoer tainting the name of the one who accosted her.
We would normally side with Critina Bucton on this, but due to how she has previous records of shenanigans, this nullifies her victimhood. Both are wrong, but Bucton is even wronger.
Dimandal may be justified by simply doing his job, but Bucton has no recourse due to having questionable immigration records and how she was not able to produce legally sound documents, a prerequisite to travel.
Do you agree with our views? Or are you mortified that we would side with such a villainous figure? Sound off in the comments below!