MANILA - Eleven Chinese tourists were barred from entering the Philippines on Thursday, the Bureau of Immigration said Sunday.
The foreigners claimed they were invited to the country by two telecommunications companies purportedly to attend conferences, said Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente.
The tourists, who were in possession of entry exemption documents and temporary visitor visas, arrived via a China Southern Airlines flight from Guangzhou, according to the bureau.
Morente said possession of a valid visa and entry exemption was not a guarantee that an alien would be allowed entry as the passenger will still be subject to strict immigration inspection upon arrival.
“Their testimonies during the interview, however, were highly inconsistent with the supposed purpose of their trip,” Morente said in a statement.
“They claimed to be employed as engineers in China, but when asked by Immigration officers about basic details about their profession as well as their alleged conference, they could not provide any."
All 11 passengers were immediately booked on the first available flight to China and placed on the Immigration blacklist.
Majority of the foreigners deported and arrested in the Philippines last year were Chinese, according to the BI.
The so-called "pastillas" bribery scheme allegedly involves Chinese tourists paying grease money to Immigration officials so they can enter the country even without proper work visas.