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High Court rejects bail bid by overstayed Pinoy

08 December 2017

By Vir B. Lumicao 
High Court judge said defendant might disappear again
ahead of  his trial for overstaying his visa for 19 years

A Filipino male who overstayed his visa for 19 years failed in his High Court bid on Dec. 6 to post bail for his temporary release.

Manuel C. Sy, Jr., who appears to be in his 20s, had gone underground after being refused a dependant’s visa in 1998.

He was arrested only in recent weeks when he tried to make off with $54 worth of food items from a supermarket in Hong Kong Island.

Court of First Instance Judge Kevin Zervos refused Sy’s bail application ahead of his trial on Dec. 21 in Shatin court for breach of condition of stay.

The judge noted that the defendant had failed to show up in court for an earlier hearing and might repeat the misdeed.

According to court records cited by Zervos, Sy came to Hong Kong in 1998 to join his mother, a permanent resident of the city. But for some unspecified reason, his mother’s application to take him in as a dependant was denied by immigration.

Sy was granted bail initially after he said he would live in his mother’s rented house. But the bail was cancelled and an arrest warrant issued by the magistrate after Sy did not appear at the July 28 hearing.

“I did not go to the hearing because I had no money,” Sy replied when asked by Zervos why he did not go to the court.

Police who checked the home of Sy’s mother discovered that he was not staying there, in breach of his bail application. The officers also found out he had no communication with his mother for the past two years.

“I’m not prepared to grant you bail because it is likely that you won’t appear again at the appointed date of trial,” Zervos said.

The judge set Sy’s trial for Dec. 21.

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