MANILA, Philippines – A seaman bound for Singapore missed his flight after he was stopped by immigration officers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport for having unpaid P500 fine with the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA).
The seaman, identified as Raul Samson, was supposed to take his flight going to Singapore earlier this month, but immigration officers held him when his name popped up on the alert list of the Bureau of Immigration (BI).
According to the reports, Samson was apprehended by the MMDA two years ago for throwing a cigarette butt at the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) EDSA-Guadalupe station.
He was then given three days to pay his P500 fine or render community service for a maximum of 16 hours, but he failed to accomplish either of the two punishments.
His failure to settle his liability pushed his anti-littering case to Makati Metropolitan Trial Court (MTC), and he was later charged for violating the Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 – an anti-littering law that prohibits littering, dumping, and throwing of garbage or any kind of waste in open or public places.
Samson still did not manage to appear in court for his arraignment hearing, which urged Judge Jackie Crisologo Saguisag of Makati MTC Branch 67 to release an arrest warrant against him on October 8 last year.
After Samson was held at the NAIA departure hall earlier this month, he immediately settled his pending anti-littering charges. MMDA officer Rose Blay later said that Samson may now be able to take a flight to Singapore as the latter has showed up at the MMDA office and paid his penalty on April 6.
However, the Makati MTC Branch 67 still held a hearing of Samson’s case on April 15, but the MMDA then declared before the court that it is no longer pursuing the case filed against Samson.