Philippines bans elderly Aussie, 84
An Australian who has been black-listed for reportedly joining a 2015 rally in violation of Phillipine regulations barring foreigners from engaging in political activities in the country.
The Philippine immigration bureau said on Thursday it had blocked the entry of Gill Hale Boehringer, an 84-year-old professor.
He is the latest foreigner to face expulsion after reportedly joining local protests.
Immigration officials have ordered the deportation of an Australian nun Sister Patricia Anne Fox who angered the president for joining anti-government rallies.
Bureau of Immigration spokeswoman Dana Sandoval said Mr Boehringer arrived on Wednesday at Manila's Ninoy Aquino International Airport from Guangzhou, China, but "was excluded for being black-listed", AP reported.
Mr Boehringer reportedly participated in a rally in November 2015 which was "in clear violation" of immigration policy prohibiting foreigners from engaging in political activities, Ms Sandoval said.
"Inclusion in the blacklist means that the subject is a threat to public order and safety, and black-listing minimises that risk," Ms Sandoval said, adding that black-listed foreigners could seek to be removed from the list if they submit "sufficient proof to reverse the blacklist".
Boehringer denied joining the rally. "I suspect that I wasn't even in the country at that time," he told the ABS-CBN TV network.
His lawyers will seek his removal from the blacklist so he can seek medical treatment in the country, ABS-CBN reported.
CNN Philippines reports the group Health Action for Human Rights said the BI's move was "heartless," adding that it is not safe for Boehringer to travel again due to health reasons.
A doctor who examined Mr Boehringer, Geneve Rivera-Reyes, said it may be risky for him to travel again due to a pulmonary illness and skin infection on both legs.
"He is 84 years old and has a history of an almost fatal pulmonary embolism. Aside from his risk of having deep vein thrombosis, he is currently suffering from cellulitis on both legs," Dr. Rivera-Reyes said in a statement released by Karapatan.
Philippine officials deny any political persecution and say foreigners will have no problem as long as they follow the law, AP reports.