Commissioner Rolando Geron Jr. is now in full control of the Bureau of Immigration after Justice Secretary Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa revoked DoJ’s Department Order 911 that has given two BI deputies certain powers. Associate Commissioner Gilberto Repizo had the exclusive and direct supervision and control over all personnel directly or indirectly connected with border control operations of all the ports in the country. These personnel include regular employees, confidential agents, contractual employees and job orders of the Intelligence Division, the counter Intelligence Unit, the Border Management Security Unit and Travel Control Enforcement Unit.
Associate Commissioner Abdullah Mangotara as cluster head of the BI’s intelligence, administrative and finance division, formally relinquished his functions that were assigned to him by former Commissioner Siegfred Mison under a personnel order.
The controversial DO 911 clipped former commissioner Mison’s authority and control over approval and issuance of visas in all immigration port of entries.
The order also included the inventory of all “exclusion and recall” orders issued by the Immigration bureau for 2013, 2014 and 2015.
Exclusion refers to an act wherein a foreigner is immediately ordered to be deported back to his or her country or origin upon arrival for being an undesirable alien, while recall is the lifting of the exclusion order.
DO 911 also appointed Repizo as “commissioner-in-charge” of all ports of entry in the country.
Under the new DoJ order, Geron now fully controls the Bureau of Immigration but without interrupting the operation.
Repizo said that as early as Jan. 11, 2016, he was the one who asked for the revocation of DO 911 out of courtesy to the new commissioner.
“The revocation was released immediately. The BI is now in normal and regular operation mode and the powers of the new commissioner must be restored. It’s reverted to the new commissioner as legal consequence of the termination of 911,” Repizo said.
Right after the revocation of DO 911, Geron ordered all BI personnel reassigned to various BI ports and satellite offices in far-flung provinces back to their mother units.
Geron was the deputy executive secretary for finance and administration of the Office of the President since 2010.
He has been in public service for over 20 years, including stints as provincial administrator of Batangas and member of the provincial board.
The new BI commissioner graduated from the University of the Philippines College of Law in 1987.