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Overstaying Filipina tourist loses final bid to fight off deportation

29 October 2020

 By The SUN 

The High Court may have put an end to the Filipina's 8-year-old battle to remain in HK

A Filipina tourist who has been fighting to stay on in Hong Kong after overstaying her visa since 2012, saying her husband wanted to hurt or kill her, lost a bid to take her fight against deportation to the Court of Appeal.

In a decision on Oct 28, the CA dismissed Michelle Estrada’s appeal against a ruling by the Court of First Instance denying her second application for a judicial review of her failed attempt to stop her being sent back home.

The appeal court decision was written by Vice President MH Lam and concurred in by Justices Aarif Barma and Thomas Au.

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Estrada filed her second appeal on Sept 1 after Lam and Au threw out her appeal against Judge Bruno Chan’s dismissal of her second motion to review the Torture Claims Appeal Board’s refusal of her appeal against Immigration’s move to deport her.

In her application to appeal to the CFA, she said she did not understand the system, she did not know she needed to tell the court of her previous application, and that she really is in trouble in the Philippines but the TCAB did not properly assess her case.

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Estrada filed her written submissions on Sept 15 stating she did not intentionally abuse the court’s process, that she thought she needed to submit a new judicial review application after the first one was refused.

She also claimed it is not safe for her to return home due to a pattern of extrajudicial killings by the police with the blessings of President Rodrigo Duterte.

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“As stated in the judgment of 21 August 2020, it is well established that re-litigation by a second judicial review application in respect of the same decision is an abuse of process.  The applicant’s ignorance of the law cannot give rise to a reasonably arguable ground of appeal on the merit of her claim,” Lam, Barma and Au said.

The appeal court officials noted that Estrada’s Form 86 and affirmation dated April 3, 2018 lodged in the second judicial review that she was assisted by someone familiar with judicial review concerning TCAB decisions.

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They said she did not appeal Deputy High Court Judge Amanda Woodcock’s dismissal of her challenge to the TCAB’s decision in her first judicial review on Mar 13, 2018.

“In any event, we do not consider that there is any question of great general or public importance or which otherwise ought to be submitted to the CFA for determination in the present case,” Lam, Barma and Au said.

Tunghayan ang isa na namang Kwentong Dream Love

Estrada last arrived in Hong Kong on Jun 13, 2012 and overstayed after her visitor visa expired 14 days later.  She surrendered to police on May 15, 2014 then lodged a non-refoulement claim (or against being sent back home) a week later, claiming her husband would harm or kill her. 

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