SAN FRANCISCO – A Filipino man who admitted conducting surveillance for a law enforcement task force in his native country linked to the disappearance of several opposition politicians was removed to the Philippines Wednesday by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), less than two months after his capture by ICE officers in the Bay Area.
Regor Cadag Aguilar, 42, arrived in Manila, Philippines, mid-day Wednesday Pacific Standard Time, on board a commercial flight escorted by ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) officers. Aguilar’s repatriation to the Philippines follows his arrest Jan. 5, 2015, in Union City by members of one of ERO’s Fugitive Operations Teams.
Aguilar originally entered the U.S. on a visitor’s visa 15 years ago and overstayed that visa, leading him to be placed in removal proceedings. In testimony offered during those proceedings, Aguilar acknowledged that, from 1998 to 2001, he worked as a surveillance agent for a law enforcement task force in the Philippines that targeted rival political figures. While he maintained he was unaware of the task force’s illegal activities at the time, Aguilar testified he knew that one of his surveillance targets disappeared and was presumed dead. He further testified that his superiors informed him that other members of the task force relied on his surveillance to abduct and murder a political figure. Aguilar also testified that he heard superiors order task force members to torture abducted individuals.
In 2010, a San Francisco immigration judge ordered Aguilar removed and, following the exhaustion of all of his appeals, ICE carried out his removal order.
ICE’s Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center (HRVWCC) investigates human rights violators who try to evade justice by seeking shelter in the United States, including those who are known or suspected to have participated in persecution, war crimes, genocide, torture, extrajudicial killings, and the use or recruitment of child soldiers. These individuals may use fraudulent identities to enter the country and attempt to blend into communities in the United States.
Since fiscal year 2004, ICE has arrested more than 360 individuals for human rights-related violations under various criminal and/or immigration statutes. During that same period, ICE obtained deportation orders and physically removed more than 780 known or suspected human rights violators from the United States.
Currently, ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations has more than 125 active investigations into suspected human rights violators and is pursuing more than 1,750 leads and removal cases involving suspected human rights violators from 97 different countries. Over the last four years, ICE’s Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center has issued more than 70,100 lookouts for individuals from more than 111 countries and stopped 193 human rights violators or war crime suspects from entering the United States.
Members of the public who have information about foreign nationals suspected of engaging in human rights abuses or war crimes are urged to contact ICE by calling the toll-free ICE tip line at 1-866-347-2423 or internationally at 001-1802-872-6199. They can also email HRV.ICE@ice.dhs.gov or complete ICE’s online tip form.