SAN FRANCISCO, California (The Adobo Chronicles, San Francisco Bureau) – An immigration judge granted reprieve from deportation to a Filipino couple in San Francisco Bay Area, in the first successful political asylum case seeking sanctuary from the administration of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.
San Francisco Immigration Judge Ila Deiss issued separate but similar decisions on December 3 granting asylum to Philippine-born husband and wife Rene and Joy Flores for fear of political persecution if they are sent back to the Philippines.
According to a news story by The Inquirer, the couple arrived in the United States in the year 2000 “to go sight-seeing.” (That’s 16 years before Duterte even became President).
Encouraged by this exciting development, Senator Antonio Trillanes, former Comelec Chair Andy Bautista (who is reportedly “hiding” in the United States), and Pinoy Ako Blog’s Jover Laurio are thinking of also applying for political asylum on the grounds of “political persecution” by the Duterte Administration.
Rappler CEO Maria Ressa also considered applying for politcal asylum until her lawyer reminded her that wasn’t necessary since she is already a U.S. citizen.
This landmark case is expected to result in a deluge of political asylum cases filed in U.S. Immigration courts, involving Filipinos who will claim persecution by the Duterte government.