The local government of Barangay Bigte in Norzagaray, Bulacan has revoked and lifted the “persona non grata” order imposed on an Australian national wherein the resident petitioners within the community expressed dismay and fear over the decision.
The lift order of the “persona non grata” issued and imposed on Dr. Tristan Daniel Evans, an Australian national, was approved by the Sangguniang Barangay council of Bigte signed and approved by Barangay Captain Jovina Lamadrid.
Four voted in favor of lifting the resolution while three disagreed,
Due to the issuance of the lift order last Monday, the residents of Sitio Upper COC, Barangay Bigte, Norzagaray led by Luisa Ogoc were disappointed, dismayed and expressed fear about the decision.
According to Ogoc, they are now afraid of the return of said foreigner because they believe that he will retaliate and they will be persecuted again in their community.
Last February 1, 2021, the Bigte Barangay Council adopted Resolution No. 2021-003 and declared the Australian national as “persona non grata” after some residents filed a complaint.
According to Captain Lamadrid, he admitted that they erred in the decision to impose “persona non grata” status on Evans because the said measure was allegedly inconsistent with the constitutional stipulation on “how and when” a resolution should be imposed against an individual.
Lamadrid said that the resolution appeared weak and lacked grounds and basis to impose persona non grata on the Australian national based on what is stated in the law in relation to the matter.
The complainants were not convinced with the decision as they will continue to appeal their petition and seek justice.
It was learned that the imposition of the resolution banning Evans from re-entering the area was caused by his alleged decision to ignore a series of summons for him to appear in the barangay and reveal his true identity, including his supposed plan to build a “monkey sanctuary” in the village.
During several summonses, including the public hearing to be held regarding the “monkey sanctuary” that Evans planned to build, the foreigner did not show up until the barangay decided not to allow the said sanctuary.
According to Ogoc, the foreigner allegedly started threatening the residents there and Ogoc was one of them. Ogoc confirmed Evans’ harassment so they brought up again the issue and asked barangay officials to order Evans to be evicted from their area.
Evans was once again summoned to the barangay in connection with his alleged “harassment” but he still did not attend until the Resolution Order or persona non grata order against the foreigner was issued.
Many residents here also testified and showed evidence that Evans was a sensible and helpful person, who conducted many charity missions, and even supported Barangay Bigte and the police during the onset of typhoon Ulysses up to the pandemic.
In Evans’ text messages, he said that the root of everything was money and envy and that he himself was the one who was intimidated and threatened, something that he could prove based on the evidence in his possession.