Responsive Ad Slot




Buhay Pinay



Philippine News

Join us at Facebook!

High Court rejects asylum bid of Filipino fearing uncle’s wrath

01 April 2024


The case was heard at the High Court (Photo from Google Maps)

The High Court has rejected a Filipino’s request for judicial review of the rejection of his application for asylum which was based on his fear he would be harmed by his uncle if he returned to his village in Benguet  because of his gender preference.

Deputy High Court Judge Bruno Chan ruled on merit even after D.A. Balbalin, 30, withdrew his appeal, saying he had resolved his problems and it was now safe for him to go back home.

Balbalin filed his non-refoulement claim with the Immigration Department following his surrender on April 17, 2019 -- two months after his two-week tourist visa expired. The application was then rejected by the director of Immigration and the Torture Claims Appeal Board.


Judge Chan affirmed that decision, saying: “Having considered the decisions of both the Director and the Board with rigorous examination and anxious scrutiny, I do not find any error of law or procedural unfairness in either of them, nor any failure on their part to apply high standards of fairness in their consideration and assessment of the Applicant’s claim.”

Judge Chan’s decision, released last March 26, added: “…judicial review is not an avenue for revisiting the assessment by them in the hope that the court may consider the matter afresh….”

Balbalin sought non-refoulement, which would prevent the Hong Kong government from forcibly sending him back to the Philippines, because he feared that his paternal uncle wanted him killed for being a homosexual and a supposed bad influence to his cousins, and because he had informed authorities about his uncle’s involvement in illegal mining in their province.


As proof, he cited an incident in which, while he was on his way home from work, he was attacked by several unknown men with knives and other weapons, causing severe injuries.

He claimed he was saved after his colleagues intervened and the attackers fled.

The Director of Immigration, as well as the Torture Claims Appeal Board to which he later appealed, concluded that his application was based on a private personal dispute with his uncle, and did not meet any of the four universal criteria for granting asylum:

  • Risk of torture.
  • Risk to his rights under Hong Kong Bill of Rights Ordinance, including right to life.
  • Risk of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.
  • Risk of persecution defined by the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees.


The Immigration director also noted that the level of risk of harm from his uncle upon his return is low and there is no evidence that those unknown assailants were sent by his uncle to kill him.

Besides, Balbalin could settle and seek livelihood in other parts of the country, such as Manila where it would be difficult if not impossible for his uncle to locate him, the ruling concluded.

Don't Miss