Thursday, September 06, 2007
Sorry’ saves American from deportation
By Tarra Quismundo
MANILA, Philippines -- An apology and a touching tale spared an American from deportation and a stiff fine after he allegedly hit the roof and vented his anger on immigration officials at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport’s Terminal 2 on Thursday.
Immigration officials, bristling after what they said were tirades from Terry David Brink, eventually pardoned the American after he apologized and attributed his outburst to a medical condition.
The officials were also apparently moved by Brink’s story that he was here to help repair the house of his Filipino wife’s family in Agusan del Norte, airport immigration chief Ferdinand Sampol said.
"He was disrespectful to our immigration officers. We would have boarded him on the next flight back to the US but he apologized and explained that he had a condition, that he was already stressed because of the long flight, and that he came here to repair the house of his wife’s family," said Sampol.
Brink, who flew in via a Philippine Airlines flight from Los Angeles, was told to move to another line by immigration officer Victor Ferrer as he had queued up for the counter for the processing of travel papers of Filipinos.
"I was about to process his travel documents when he let out a stream of unsavory words," Ferrer said in his report. "He was told to calm down but he instead answered in a loud voice and shouted curses."
The American was excluded from the line and brought to the immigration office for questioning.
Immigration Commissioner Marcelino Libanan, who had come to send off President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo who was on her way to Australia, got wind of the incident and asked to see Brink.
Apologizing for his behavior, Brink was sent on his way after immigration officers listened to his story, waiving the P50,000 fine he would have paid so it could be used for his repair project in Agusan