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Alec Baldwin banned from RP despite apology


'SORRY' Alec Baldwin says sorry to Filipinos offended by his Filipina-mail-order bride joke last May 12. AP photo
MANILA, Philippines - After receiving flak from Filipinos worldwide, 30 Rock star Alec Baldwin on Wednesday apologized for joking that he was interested in buying himself a Filipina wife. "I apologize for the perceived insensitivity of that remark," Baldwin said in his blog posted at the Huffington Post website. Despite his apology, Baldwin explained that his joke was just meant to "achieve the goal of having more children in [his] life." "I believe that most people understood that this was a joke and took it as such. (A dated reference, no doubt, and another sign of my advancing age)," he said. On May 12, the 51-year-old Hollywood actor told David Letterman on the Late Show how he thought of getting, or buying, himself a Filipina bride. "I think about getting a Filipino mail-order bride at this point or a Russian one, I don’t care, I’m 51," he told Letterman. Letterman, responding to the seemingly funny joke, replied: “Get one for me [also], for later." [See: Alec Baldwin's Letterman interview] But despite his apology, the Bureau of Immigration issued an order barring Baldwin from entering the Philippines as he is deemed an "undesirable alien." Immigration Commissioner Marcelino Libanan said Baldwin appeared to condone the mail-order bride scheme, which is a criminal act prohibited and punishable under Republic Act 6955. "By being in the bureau’s blacklist, Baldwin is forbidden from entering the country as he is deemed an undesirable alien," Libanan said. Last month, Libanan also barred Hong Kong-based columnist Chip Tsao from entering the Philippines, after the well-known writer called the Philippines a "nation of servants", which shouldn't lord over the Spratly islands that is still being claimed by China. The Immigration chief later lifted the ban, days after Tsao issued an apology. Afraid of Revilla? In his letter, Baldwin noted the remark of Philippine Senator Ramon 'Bong' Revilla Jr., who threatened to beat up up the actor should he decide to visit the Philippines. "The comments of some Philippine government officials come as no surprise to me, either. Even the one by a former action film star-turned-Senator who beckoned me to come to the Philippines so he could 'beat' me over my comment," he said. [See: Alec Baldwin's ‘RP mail-order bride remark’ irks senator] The Philippine Consulate in New York had earlier given Baldwin a free lecture about Filipino mail-order-brides. In a letter addressed to the actor on Tuesday, Consul General Cecilia Rebong noted the key legislations against human smuggling including: Republic Act 6955 or “The Anti Mail-Order Bride Law of 1990" and the RA 9208: “The Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act," which criminalizes the act of “introducing for money or other consideration any Filipino to a foreigner as a possible spouse." "Being an actor and a comedian it is understandable that you may not be aware of these matters," Rebong added. Baldwin replied that he "understands" why Filipinos react like that to such comments. "Such anger and frustration about the issue of sex trafficking is understandable. The Philippines has suffered significant problems with the issue of sex trafficking," he said. In 2007, the Philippines was placed in Tier 2 by the US Department of State’s Trafficking in Persons Report for not fully complying with the Trafficking Victims Protection Act’s minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. - GMANews.TV
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