MANILA – Majority of the 158 foreigners arrested for violating Philippine immigration laws last year are Chinese nationals, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) reported on Monday.

Citing the latest data, Commissioner Jaime Morente said these foreigners were arrested in numerous operations conducted by members of the BI’s intelligence division nationwide.

Out of this number, 86 are Chinese nationals, followed by Koreans at 37; Nigerians, 10; Indians, six; Americans, four; British, four; Japanese, three; Indonesians, two and one Dutch, German, Tunisian, Cambodian, Lebanese, and a Singaporean.

“The pandemic has been a challenge for our operations. However, we will not stop until we have rid the country of these illegal aliens who do not respect our laws. We will find them, arrest them, and deport them,” he said.

Morente said last year's figure is a 69 percent decrease from the 510 arrested foreign nationals in 2020, due to the imposition of travel restrictions for arriving foreigners.

“Since only those with valid and existing long-term visas are allowed entry in the country, we saw a major decrease in the number of foreign nationals in the Philippines. Apart from that, many of those who were already in the country were repatriated back to their homelands,” he added.

Earlier, the BI reported the arrest of 83 foreign fugitives by the BI’s fugitive search unit. (PNA)