Give Loida Quindoy a Chance to Stay! – Migrante Japan

“Loida Quindoy is unjustly punished. The Japan Ministry of Justice has gone overboard when it decided to throw out a Filipina mother and grandmother after living in Japan for over 22 years. This is a grave injustice”, Migrante Japan, an alliance of Filipino organizations caring and fighting for the rights of Filipinos in Japan said in a pre-trial statement on the karehomen case of Loida Quindoy today, April 26.

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Loida Quindoy who is again denied by the Immigration Bureau to appear before the Tokyo District Court to personally make her appeal is detained at the Tokyo Regional Immigration Bureau since her karehomen was cancelled on October 11, last year. She has been battling against a deportation order since 2012 for “not disclosing the complete facts about her Filipino husband who had a history of overstay and use of an assumed identity” when she applied for his visa to join her in Japan. It was a mistake that Loida Quindoy regretted and has already paid when her husband got deported back to the Philippines in 2011 and when her permanent residence status was revoked in 2012.

“Why revoke her permanent status and deport her too? What premium does her 22 years of hard work in Japan get? Are they throwing them all away because of one mistake?”, Migrante Japan asked.

“The Ministry of Justice has failed to see the whole picture and just focused on one single mistake. It also failed to recognize that Loida Quindoy is a mother and grandmother of two young girls who live with her in Japan. Deporting her back to the Philippines, her country of origin, would have a devastating impact on the entire family”, Migrante Japan said.

Loida Quindoy’s case is not isolated. There are hundreds of other cases like her who are languishing in detention because of Japan’s intolerance and campaign to criminalize migrants. Under the current rules, even a mere traffic violation can be used as reason for deportation. This according to Migrante Japan, “threatens families of mixed racial background.” A child’s right to have parental relationship with both mother and father is enshrined in Japan’s Constitution and Japan being a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child is legally bound to uphold and protect these rights. But according to Migrante Japan, these provisions of the law are clearly ignored by the new set of rules and regulations currently being implemented by the Ministry of Justice.

Meanwhile, Migrante Japan castigated the Philippine embassy in Tokyo for not lifting a finger on the case of Loida Quindoy and other jailed Filipinos. The Philippine government should have done something to question the deportation order on Loida Quindoy, according to MIGRANTE Japan. “Instead of appealing her case, the Philippine embassy in Tokyo has sided with the Ministry of Justice by echoing its appeal for Filipino overstays in Japan to go back to the Philippines and avail of its reintegration program”, Migrante Japan lamented.

Today, on the 3rd and final hearing of Loida Quindoy’s case, Filipinos and Japanese supporters who believe that she is unjustly punished held a protest action in front of the Tokyo District Court to appeal for her immediate release and to grant her a “special resident status.” Similar actions were also held by Migrante chapters in Manila, South Korea, Australia and in Hong Kong right in front of the Japanese embassy in the days leading to today’s hearing. They are one with Loida Quindoy and her supporters in calling for the Ministry of Justice to give her a chance to stay and allow her to remain in Japan with her family.

Migrante Japan insisted that Loida Quindoy is a person of good character. She is a community leader and a church leader as well who made enormous contributions to society through her hard work and by religiously paying all her tax dues as well as helping fellow Filipinos embroiled in various welfare and legal issues.

“Loida Quindoy is not a criminal! She is not a bad person. In her 22 years in Japan, she has not been involved, nor convicted of any crime. She deserves a second chance”, MIGRANTE Japan concluded.###

UPDATE ON THE HEARING:

The 3rd and what supposed to be the final hearing on the “karehomen” case of Loida Quindoy was held today, April 26, at the Tokyo District Court. The presiding judge ruled that the medical condition of Loida must be thoroughly examined, and therefore, an unexpected 4th hearing was set on July 5. The presiding judge questioned the panel of lawyers representing the Japan Ministry of Justice for not giving Loida swift medical attention when she badly needed it; that they should have immediately brought her to a private medical institution and have her examined by a professional doctor. The government lawyers argued that “Loida is not the only sick person inside the Tokyo Regional Immigration Bureau” to which the presiding judge smiled impishly while shaking his head. The next hearing will have the private doctor invited as an expert witness to present his findings on the medical condition of Loida. Looks like the 3rd round is arguably in favor of Loida.

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