BI bars 84-year-old Australian professor from entering PH

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 8) — The Bureau of Immigration (BI) has barred an elderly Australian professor from entering the country for his alleged violation of the agency order prohibiting foreign visitors from participating in rallies in the country.   

Gill Hale Boehringer, 84, arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1 from Guanhzhou, China on Wednesday, but was held by authorities.

"He was excluded for being blacklisted," Immigration Spokesperson Dana Krizia Sandoval confirmed in a statement Thursday.

She said Boehringer violated a BI order "prohibiting foreigners in engaging in political activities in the Philippines." The BI said the Australian was found to have participated in a November 2015 rally.

"Inclusion in the blacklist means that the subject is a threat to public order and safety, and blacklisting minimizes that risk," Sandoval said.

She said the ban could be lifted if the foreigner could present sufficient evidence warranting such reversal.

The group Health Action for Human Rights said the BI's move was "heartless," adding that it is not safe for Boehringer to travel again due to health reasons.

"He is 84 years old and has a history of an almost fatal pulmonary embolism. Aside from his risk of having deep vein thrombosis, he is currently suffering from cellulitis on both legs," Dr. Geneve Rivera-Reyes said in a statement released by Karapatan.

The group said the law professor was held at NAIA Terminal 1 overnight and was instructed to board an 8:30 a.m. flight on Thursday. The whereabouts of Boehringer now is not immediately known.

Boehringer's deportation comes after that of Sister Patricia Fox, a 71-year-old Australian nun whose missionary visa was revoked in April also for participating in rallies. She was ordered to leave the country by the end of May, but the Justice Department nullified the Immigration order. The BI, which is under the DOJ, upheld its order to deport Fox on July 19.

President Rodrigo Duterte admitted he was behind the BI probe into Fox's "disorderly conduct," adding that she has a "foul mouth."

Fox's camp  maintained she did not violate any laws and her participation in assemblies was part of missionary work.