CA justice ‘cries foul’ gets US visa

PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — THE Court of Appeals justice who cried foul and charged the US Embassy with discrimination at the height of the controversy over Lance Corporal Daniel Smith’s rape case was finally granted a multiple entry US visa good for five years.

Associate Justice Jose Catral Mendoza said that last January 25, the US Embassy approved his visa after a series of phone calls to his office made by US Acting Consul General Christopher Rowans.

Mendoza said that after the suspension of the issuance of his visa last December 18, 2006 and the Manila Times wrote the story that was published on December 22, 2006, the US Embassy immediately responded.

The CA Justice said it was a humiliating experience he had undergo before an arrogant lady US consul during his interview at the US Embassy, so much so she even required that his fingerprints be taken before she could decide whether to grant him a visa or not. This was despite all the credentials Justice Mendoza presented to prove he was with the Court of Appeals.

He said it was as though the treatment he suffered was a consequence of Daniel Smith’s detention at the Makati City Jail following his rape conviction.

Consul Rowans called Mendoza’s office about five times concerning the suspension of his visa and asked what happened.

Another call gave Rowans an opportunity to talk with Mendoza’s wife and the latter informed him her husband was no longer interested in pursuing his visa application.

The next time Rowans called-up he was able to talk with Mendoza and inform him that he was “in charge” and will check the records.”

The next time they talked over the phone on January 24 Rowans told him that “we have reviewed your records and we are satisfied that you do not belong to those category of undesirable aliens.”

Mendoza was asked to send a representative as there was no need for him to visit the US Embassy, and a visa would be issued shortly. The visa was released a week later and Justice Mendoza thank Consul Rowans for the courtesy given him.