In an unexpected move, a group of Filipinos who are living and working in Thailand, requested the Bureau of Immigration (BI) to release Prasertsi Kosin (aka Koko Narak). He is the Thai national who called Pinoys as pignoys,” “stupid creatures,” “low-class slum slaves, and “a useless race” on Facebook last month.
In a lengthy open letter addressed to BI Commissioner Siegfred B. Mison this Thursday, the group said they are appealing to his office to drop all the charges against Kosin and to release him immediately. Although they understand that Koko’s comments were offensive and irresponsible, they said those were not criminal acts.
The group mentioned Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), and Article 3, Section 4 of the Philippine Constitution, which both respect the right of freedom of expression. And although it carries some special duties and responsibilities, there may be some exceptional circumstances.
“While the Bureau of Immigration may, for better or worse, have wide discretion to deport foreigners it deems ‘undesirable,’ the Filipino community in Thailand entreats the Bureau to exercise maximum tolerance before punishing non-criminal acts of foreigners.” The letter from the group reads.
“While deportation is, by legal fiction, not criminal in nature, its impact is as harsh if not harsher than a criminal penalty such as a fine or community service. In this case, we believe that the charges brought against Mr. Kosin, his subsequent arrest and handling before the media are disproportionate responses to the statements he made and did not have any basis in law.” The letter added.
The members of this group of Pinoys in Thailand said they believe that the Bureau of Immigration has jeopardized the right to freedom of expression itself, adding that Koko Narak has already issued a public apology and that Filipinos should accept and move on. The letter has 44 Filipino signatures.
On the latter part of the letter, the group noted that dropping the charges against Koko Narak and releasing him will be setting an example to ASEAN members, which includes the Philippines and Thailand. The group added that the release of the Thai national will also help promote the country’s democracy.
As reported earlier, Koko Narak is temporarily detained at Camp Bagong Diwa in Bicutan, Taguig City while the BI is still processing his deportation papers. are being processed. BI spokesperson Elaine Tan said his visa will be eventually cancelled, and he is also set to be declared ‘persona non grata’ in the Philippines.
Do you think the Philippines should forgive Koko Narak for all his racist comments against the Filipinos? Is it enough that he apologized and was fired from his job, but should not be deported? Hhhmmm…