BAP's Lim nabbed, faces deportation charge

by Sandy Araneta, The Philippine Star

Posted at Dec 08 2009 01:09 PM | Updated as of Dec 08 2009 09:22 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Graham Lim, the controversial secretary-general of the Basketball Association of the Philippines (BAP) who has pending deportation cases since 2006 due to a citizenship issue, was arrested yesterday at the Makati City Hall by National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Interpol agents.

Lim was immediately brought to the Bureau of Immigration (BI) in Intramuros reportedly for deportation proceedings.

He, however, maintained he is a Filipino and that his arrest was politically motivated.

“This is politics. This is because of basketball. They want to remove me from my post (at the BAP). They just want to get what they want,” Lim said.

He stressed that his arrest warrant for a case of falsification of public documents has already been dismissed. Charges were filed against him earlier for allegations that he was carrying a fake Philippine passport.

“I was born here. I do not know why I am being deported,” said Lim, who has a Filipino wife and two children.

He added: “I have a warrant that was already dismissed. I do not know why they are arresting me.

“I was born here. I have been living here for half a century now. I was born in Manila. My mother is from Tuguegarao. My father is from China. But my mother is from Cagayan Valley,” Lim said.

He added that there is still an ongoing trial in a Pasay City court for falsification of passport filed by the BI and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

Lim’s former deputy in the BAP, Emmanuel Perez de Tagle and international referee Liberato Valenzuela, had produced papers substantiating their claims that Lim was a fake Filipino citizen.

Charges were then subsequently filed in court, the BI and the DFA.

The DFA earlier ruled Lim an illegal alien and eventually withdrew his Philippine passport.

The BI likewise officially declared Lim as a Taiwanese citizen.