New immigration chief Ronaldo Geron replaces Siegfred Mison

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) – Outgoing Deputy Executive Secretary Ronaldo Geron is the new Bureau of Immigration (BI) Commissioner, replacing Siegfred Mison.

Geron, who was appointed by President Benigno Aquino III, took his oath of office on Wednesday (January 6), Department of Justice (DOJ) spokesman Usec. Emmanuel Caparas announced in a text message.

BI is an attached agency of the DOJ.

Geron has served the government in various capacities for over 20 years. He was provincial administrator of Batangas and provincial board member.

The former assistant executive secretary for legal affairs graduated from the University of the Philippines College of Law in 1987, and was admitted to the Bar in 1988. He also taught local governments and law at the University of Batangas.

Mison welcomes replacement

In a statement on Thursday (January 7), Mison welcomed Geron’s appointment. 

“I encourage everyone in the Bureau to give as much cooperation and teamwork as they had given me the past four and a half years to the new Commissioner,” Mison said.

Mison, however, refused to comment on a report by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) charging him of grave misconduct resulting in the escape of Korean fugitive Lim Hojun.

“I will answer all such allegations in the proper venue and at the proper time,” Mison said.

Sudden change of leadership

Malacañang had no direct explanation on the sudden change of leadership at the BI.

Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma said what was only transmitted to him was the official appointment of Geron which he announced just Thursday morning.

“Yung performance ng BI Commissioner ay subject sa evaluation ng Department of Justice na may supervision hinggil dito,” Coloma explained.

[Translation: “The performance of the BI Commissioner is subject to the evaluation of the Department of Justice which has supervision over it.”]

He added the length of stay of presidential appointees in office is also decided by the president.

CNN Philippines’ Anjo Alimario  and Patricia de Leon contributed to this report.