MANILA (Mabuhay) – The Department of Justice (DOJ) will investigate the barring of a Japanese trade unionist from the country to determine whether the government’s criteria for blacklisting foreigners need to be reviewed.
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said on Thursday that she would first verify the basis of why Japanese Katsuhiro Sato was included in the Black List Order of the Bureau of Immigration (BI).
Last week, Sato was stopped at the Manila International Airport and was immediately deported to Japan for being in the list.
Sato is a trade unionist and a member of JICHIRO, the largest umbrella organization of local government unions in Japan.
NAGKAKAISA, a coalition of labor groups, said the BI abused its authority and committed gross violation of the basic human right to free movement, assembly and expression when it deported Sato.
The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines said Sato was included in the blacklist for participating in an international assembly for solidarity on free expression and free assembly in Manila in 2012.
Following the barring of Sato, De Lima was asked whether a tripartite review of the criteria in naming people in the blacklist was needed.
“I need to verify that first and check the basis for the black list,” de Lima said in a text message. (MNS)