MANILA, Philippines — A Filipina traveler who missed her flight due to a lengthy interview with an immigration officer has asked the Bureau of Immigration (BI) for financial damages.

Cham Tanteras, commenting on the apology posted by the BI on its Facebook page, said on Friday that she wrote a letter to the bureau, asking it to take accountability for the financial damages the incident cost her after she had to book another flight.

“I also commented on BI’s FB post reminding them to respond to my complaint letter via email and take accountability for the financial damages. More than the P19,000, I will be more than happy if BI will take action specifically on Officer Abdullah,” Tanteras said, referring to the immigration officer who conducted the secondary interview before her flight.

She paid P19,000 for her flight to Israel. To book a later flight with a different airline, she spent another P27,000.

Tanteras clarified that she was not asked irrelevant questions at the immigration counter at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

She said she was only asked to provide her yearbook during her secondary interview in the BI office at the airport, contrary to the BI’s earlier statement that claimed that she was “asked numerous questions which she deemed irrelevant.”

She added that she had no issue with the first immigration officer who interviewed her.

“If you have a CCTV, it will show that I showed my phone to Officer Abdullah my wacky grad pic after being asked (for) my yearbook. It will also show how he grabbed my phone to check my emails to make sure I was the one who booked my flight despite having a printed copy of my booking confirmation,” she said.

BI spokesperson Dana Sandoval was not available for comment as of 5 p.m. yesterday when asked to react to Tanteras’ allegations.

The BI said it has conducted an investigation into the incident and asked the immigration officer involved for a full report.

2023-03-18T16:40:56Z dg43tfdfdgfd