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Ex-maid fails in bid to appeal against deportation

16 October 2018

By Vir B. Lumicao

A former Filipina domestic helper has failed in her bid to appeal a High Court judge’s decision denying her the right to seek a judicial review of Immigration’s decision to send her back to the Philippines.

Jamaicha Bansiles was told on Sept 27 by the Court of Appeal that there were no reasons to disturb Judge Bruno Chan’s rejection of the applicant’s grounds for the intended judicial review.

Justices Carlye Chu and Aarif Barma concurred in the decision.

“We agree with the Judge that the intended judicial review is not reasonably arguable and has no prospect of success, and leave to apply for judicial review should be refused,” the justices said in a decision dismissing the application.

Bansiles came to Hong Kong in November 2006 to work as a domestic worker, but she was fired in April 2007. She remained and overstayed her visa in Hong Kong until police arrested her on Mar 15, 2009. 

She filed a torture claim in 2009, but the director rejected it in October 2012 and her appeal to the Torture Claims Appeal Board was refused in February 2013.  But on Oct 17, 2014, the court allowed a judicial review and her torture claim was sent to the director for reconsideration.

Bansiles said she feared she would be harmed or killed by two people – Boy Sison and Gilbert Gacutan - for failing to repay loans. She said she had to borrow money from Sison for a botched training course in London, and from Gacutan for her coming to Hong Kong.

She said for failing to repay the loans, her family members were harassed, threatened and assaulted, and her home was vandalized. She gave the director a document from the barangay captain’s office as proof that her parents complained about the harassment, threat and assault to the family and the damage to the family home.

On Jan. 6, 2017 the Immigration director rejected Bansiles’ claim, after deciding that the risk of harm from her creditors was low.

On appeal to the TCAB, Bansiles provided documents relating primarily to the levels of crime, terrorist attacks and anti-drug campaign killings in the Philippines. But the board also refused her claim, so she went to the High Court to ask for leave to challenge the decisions denying her application for non-refoulement.

On Mar 9 this year, Judge Chan dismissed the application saying the grounds were not properly supported. He said he was not satisfied the application for judicial review would succeed.

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