Beijing slams rough justice for Chinese woman slapped by Philippine immigration official

Philippine immigration official filmed slapping teacher after she was denied entry at airport

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 07 May, 2014, 11:54am
UPDATED : Thursday, 08 May, 2014, 11:25am

The Chinese embassy in Manila has lashed out at what it called the "rough treatment" of a Chinese woman at the capital's international airport.

In a video recorded on a mobile phone at Ninoy Aquino International Airport's Terminal 3, broadcast on local television, the woman can be seen engaged in a violent clash with an immigration official before being shoved into a nearby room.

The incident could fuel tensions between the two countries, already heightened due to a territorial dispute in the South China Sea and the presence of a large number of undocumented Chinese workers in the Philippines.

Watch: Chinese woman slapped by Philippine immigration agent

The recording shows the official dragging the woman for several metres along the ground before she stands up and repeatedly hits him with her shoe. The official is then seen shoving her hard and slapping her several times. It is unclear from the video how the altercation started.

The Chinese woman was later identified as Jiang Huixing, 38. She had arrived from Beijing on Sunday on a Cebu Pacific flight to resume work as a teacher at a Chinese school, local media said.

Jiang was denied entry to the country for working there illegally, Maria Angelica Pedro, a spokeswoman for the Philippine Bureau of Immigration, told the South China Morning Post.

"Upon inspection by immigration, they got confirmation - actually an admission - … that she is working here in the Philippines without the proper working permit," said Pedro.

Officials were suspicious of "multiple extensions" of the woman's visa since 2012, Pedro said, adding: "She was then informed she would be excluded, meaning she would be sent back to her country of origin.

"She reacted violently [and when] restrained by a female security personnel she bit [her]."

An immigration agent, identified as Rashid Ramirez, then intervened, said the Manila International Airport Authority. Pedro said that the bureau did not condone Ramirez's actions.

An airport authority spokesman said the incident was being investigated. Ramirez has been suspended and is under investigation, Philippine immigration chief Siegfried Mison said.

Ramirez was a contract employee, whose current terms end on June 30, said Mison.

Mison said the agent should have handcuffed the woman instead of slapping her. But he noted that slapping had been used at airports abroad to cope with unruly passengers.

Before returning home on Tuesday, Jiang told China's Global Times newspaper that while she had worked in the Philippines in the past, her latest trip was for tourism.

Two consular officials visited Jiang on Monday evening before her deportation, the Chinese embassy said. The officials lodged a protest with Philippine immigration officials and demanded a swift investigation and "justice for the Chinese citizen", it said.