The Bureau of Immigration (BI) slammed a now-viral post by businessman Xian Gaza detailing how he supposedly evaded immigration inspection at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
In a series of photos on Facebook, Gaza described how he was able to depart the Philippines despite allegedly having “three arrest warrants and after being sentenced to five years in prison,” in September 30 last year.
It can be recalled that Gaza made headlines in 2017 after asking out actress Erich Gonzales for coffee via a billboard advertisement in Manila—which the latter refused, for reportedly stalking actress Ella Cruz, and after his alleged involvement in several investment scam cases involving millions of Pesos.
As of writing, the post has garnered almost 8,000 comments and more than 22,000 shares.
“His story sounds like it was taken straight out of an action movie,” said BI Spokesperson Dana Sandoval. “He said it so himself, his story is based on what happened, but sadly it’s not what actually happened,” she added.
Sandoval enumerated the procedures encountered if a person has a hit in the BI’s derogatory database. According to her, once a person has a hit for an existing Hold Departure Order (HDO) or warrant of arrest, they will immediately be barred from flying out.
“In his case there was none when he left,” said Sandoval. She likewise clarified that the alleged conversation between Gaza and an immigration officer did not happen. “The story is preposterous, similar to other claims he made in the past. If you know regular airport procedures, his story sounds silly. Ang daming loopholes. Booking numerous flights will not help evade police. Everything is recorded in our systems, with one click you’ll know which flight a person really took,” she added.
Sandoval mentioned that courts send them arrest warrants or HDOs and these are included in their derogatory database. “Since he had no derogatory record when he left, he was cleared for departure. It was quite uneventful and ordinary, really. No Hollywood-level storyline, just regular immigration clearance.”
She added that the viral post is a “cause for concern” and that they are studying possible actions against Gaza. “Stunts like this using the Bureau to gain fame and stay relevant are a security risk. He is making a mockery of our airport procedures for attention,” she said. Bureau of Immigration