The Bureau of Immigration (BI) has been accused of anomaly in the arrest of an overstaying Chinese national, that was allegedly carried out through the influence of a politician.

The Mission Order against Yuehei Li was issued by Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente.

The Chinese national was arrested in Panabo City in Davao del Norte on March 5, 2022, together with his Filipina interpreter, Odette Valmonte.

Valmonte said the arrest was illegal and carried out under the influence of a politician with connivance of immigration agents.

“Naa gyod milagro sa immigration (There is something fishy in the Bureau of Immigration), ” said Valmonte in an interniew with an FM radio station broadcasting out of Tagum City in Davao del Norte, on Wednesday March 9.

She said Li was arrested even as Morente’s order was only for verification and no arrest.

“Verification lang walay aresto nga mahitabo (Verification only without arrest),” she said.

She maintained that Li is innocent , adding that the Chinese was falsely accused of submitting to the bureau a fake government receipt and for having misdeclared himself as a Japanese national in a document.

Valmonte was interviewed a day after her release by Panabo police after the Panabo City prosecution office dismissed for lack of probable cause three counts of violation of the ImmigrationLlaw filed by the BI. Li is under detention by BI as of presstime,

Harboring an an illegal alien was among the charges slapped against the long-time interpreter of Li.

An incident report on the arrest of Li said that Valmonte attempted to help in the escape attempt of Li by ferreting out the alien through the back of the house they rented.

The arrest of Li has dragged Davao de Oro Rep. Ruwell Peter Gonzaga as a potential subject in a harbing case after reportedly taking Li into his custody while the overstaying alien was first investigated by the Nabunturan police on February7, 2022.


In the interview, Valmonte tagged the Morente order as a “hocus-pocus” order.

“Naa sa sulod sa immigration, naay hocus-pucos. Naay nagpaluyo base sa information (There is hocus-pocus inside immigration with somebody behind, based on information),” she said.

Valmonte did not name names, but she was clearly refering to Davao de Oro former governor now Provincial Board member Arturo “Chiongkee” Uy.

Li, engaged in a dredging and desilting project to recover gold dusts drained down from gold mining sites to Naboc River in Nabunturan town in Davao de Oro, is well-publicized as the central figure in the extortion and graft and corruption case filed against Uy in the office of the Ombudsman.

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