2 Methodist missionaries in BI watchlist deported

MANILA Two of the three United Methodist Church (UMC) missionaries who were included in the Bureau of Immigration's watchlist have already left the country.

In a text message to reporters, BI Spokesperson Dana Krizia Sandoval said Zimbabwean national Tawanda Chandiwana was deported to his country Thursday noon.

Chandiwana was detained for overstaying and violating the provisions of the missionary visa granted to him after he was found to have engaged in political activities.

On the other hand, another UMC missionary, American Adam Thomas Shaw, took a flight back to the US Wednesday morning.

No further details of their departure were provided.

Shaw was ordered to leave for engaging in missionary works without a visa, overstaying, and for involvement in leftist activities.

As for another missionary, Malawian Miracle Osman, the BI official said they would still check on her status. She was included on the BI's watchlist last March 12, and was ordered to leave last June 18.

The foreigners were ordered to submit their requirements for the fulfillment of their order to leave before they could depart the country.

All of them were subsequently included on the BI's blacklist following reports of their involvement in leftist activities.

Alien missionaries in the Philippines must be actually, directly, and exclusively engaged in religious work. They must not engage in any endeavor that is not consistent with their religious or missionary vocation, Sandoval earlier said.

At the same time, she clarified that there is no crackdown on foreign missionaries.

Based on BI's records, there are more than 500 missionary visa holders in the country. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency