A top official of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry may soon be evicted from the Philippines, if deportation charges with the Bureau of Immigration finally proceed.
Joseph C. Sy, a member of PCCI’s board and president of the P20-billion Global Ferronickel Holdings Inc. and Platinum Group Metals Corp., is facing a petition for deportation for allegedly faking his Filipino citizenship to legalize his mining investments in the country.
Sy, according to a complaint filed with the Bureau of Immigration by Olongapo City resident Nestor Cas, is not a Filipino but a Chinese citizen.
Sy’s PGMC took over Global Ferronickel, formerly known as Southeast Asia Cement. Global Ferronickel in turn acquired 100 percent of Ferrochrome Resources Inc. and Southeast Palawan Nickel Ventures Inc.
FRI has two existing operating agreements in Zambales to explore, develop and utilize surface and underground chromite and other platinum group metals. SPNVI, on the other hand, has one operating agreement covering an area with nickel ore deposits.
Cas alleged that Sy falsified public documents and simulated his birth so he could pass himself off as a Filipino qualified to control companies that are into mining, a partly nationalized industry where foreigners are not allowed to hold a controlling ownership.
Cas has asked the BI to deport Sy for falsifying public documents and allegedly violating other local laws, such as the Anti-Dummy Law, the Immigration Act and the Corporation Code.
Sy, through several companies, controls PGMC and Global Ferronickel, a company listed at the Philippine Stock Exchange with a market capitalization valued at over P20 billion as of the end of January 2015. Being a miner, Sy serves as officer-in-charge of a mining committee in PCCI.
Late birth registration
Sy defended himself in an affidavit for late registration of his birth on Dec. 28, 2007. But Cas, through ADBLACCC Law Office lawyer Renny Domingo, said the entries in the affidavit—executed 41 years after Sy’s alleged birth on Oct. 10, 1966—were “incredible” and “proven false.”
Domingo noted that “the only time in recent memory of the country that a group of people did not possess birth certificates for a certain period of time is during the 1970s with the discovery of the Tasaday Tribe” in Mindanao.
Sy in his affidavit claimed that he was the son of Filipino couple Emilio Toledo Sy and Aida Samson Cue, who married on June 18, 1964, in Balanga, Bataan.
Cas, however, claimed that a certification from the office of the Civil Registrar of Balanga disputed Sy’s statement. The Civil Registrar of Balanga attested that while its archived records of marriages in 1964 were intact, it has “no record of marriage” between persons named Aida Samson Cue and Emilio Toledo Sy.
Sy’s affidavit also gave an address—#31 Visayas Ave., Upper Sta. Lucia, Novaliches, Quezon City—as his place of birth. Domingo said the address had been “a vacant lot since 1901,” adding the neighborhood did not know Sy nor his alleged parents.
BI records, meanwhile, showed that Sy had been travelling in and out of the country since 2001 presumably without a valid birth certificate, a requirement in getting a passport. Sy was eligible to get a birth certificate only after he executed the affidavit for late registration of birth, Domingo claimed.
“How did respondent Sy travel in and out of the country since 2001 when he only executed his affidavit for late registration of birth in 2007?” Domingo asked in the complaint he filed on behalf of Cas.
“The only plausible explanation as to the reason why respondent Sy executed [his affidavit] is to obtain Philippine citizenship in the most speedy and expeditious way in order to be allowed to own shares in mining companies, the latter being a partly nationalized industry which limits foreign ownership to 40 percent,” Domingo said.