Speaking Out as a Tourist in the Philippines

Speaking out about the Philippines government or policy is not really recommended for the tourist or the expat in the Philippines.  Doing so could get you blacklisted and deported from the Philippines.  If you’re advocating change in government it could be viewed as a foreigner meddling in internal government affairs. The government holds that such meddling may not be acceptable.

expatRecently, there has been some increased tension in the southern part of the country with fighting breaking out between Muslim militants and the Philippine military.  The Philippine army has been widely successful in these clashes.  Many have been left homeless as a result of the clashes.  And there have been protest related to these activities.

One TV station ran stories on protest regarding these actions and some foreign nationals were interviewed.  That is what sparked these reminders from Bureau of Immigration (BI).  I don’t know if those people that participated in the interviews have been deported but I suspect the next one to show up on TV will be deported.  I don’t think the BI is going to put up with much of this.

I don’t think there is any appeal regarding this kind of action by BI and those being deported will be put on the Philippine black list so that they may never return to the Philippines.

In a story that appeared on ABS-CBN news, the BI chief stated:

“Foreigners should have no business joining these mass actions because it is tantamount to meddling in our country’s internal affairs,” Libanan said

I’d say that makes the BI position very clear, some American’s may cry Freedom of Speech.  If you like it here, I’d say you probably would be far better off keeping those thoughts to yourself.  You are not in America.  I doubt the US would tolerate the Taliban in the US protesting against the American government.  Personally, in the US, they should be allowed to protest but that’s the US.

It is up to us to change to confirm to the new land we live in, when the American Expat left the US and decided to live in the Philippines, we gave up the good of America while escaping the worst of it.  So pull in your rebel horns and speak very softly when living in a foreign land.

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Filed under: Expats in the Philippines

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