NEWS RELEASE
6 March 2021
Reference: Ms. Rochelle Porras, EILER Executive Director, +63 927 493 5747

BI’s final order to leave against missionary and labor researcher De Vries, unjust – EILER

The Ecumenical Institute of Labor Education and Research (EILER) expresses dismay over the Order of the Bureau of Immigration in response to the Motion for Reconsideration filed by Otto De Vries, lay missionary and EILER volunteer labor researcher.

According to the labor NGO, in a letter dated February 26 which Otto’s counsel received on March 6, the bureau denied the reissuance of Otto’s permanent resident VISA and has ordered his compliance to leave the country within sixty (60) days.

“The Bureau of Immigration is swift to blindly accept NICA’s preposterous report on Otto’s supposed participation in ‘terrorist activities’ when in fact Otto has only been fulfilling his duties as a lay missionary in service of the workers,” Rochelle Porras, EILER Executive Director said.

“What do we make of a government agency that all too quickly drives away foreign missionaries like Otto and Sister Patricia Fox, but fails to recognize their decades of service to the Filipino people?” Porras added.

EILER also reiterated that the evidence presented by the bureau in its order is part of Otto’s mission and work as a labor researcher.

“There is nothing wrong in Otto’s participation in the Asia Pacific People’s Forum on Sustainable Development in 2019, in his attendance in Kontra Daya forum on national election in 2019 held at the Commission on Human Rights PARDEC Hall, nor in his solidarity with the workers. If he had only been given due process, he would have easily defended his participation in these activities,” Porras said.

The Bureau of Immigration exposes itself as an instrument of repression and echoes the Duterte administration’s anti worker stance.

“We call on all labor rights defenders and Church peoples to stand in solidarity with Otto and denounce the Bureau of Immigration’s unjust actions,” Porras ended. #