Captured American fugitive vows return to RP

By Florence F. Hibionada

Senior Reporter, Philippine News Service

Manila , Philippines – Captured American fugitive David Wayne Altman Greth has now left Philippine soil and is now back to the United States (US) where he belonged yet tried for years to escape.

With his Arrest Warrant and Deportation Order in place, the 39 year-old has now been officially added to the list of “undesirable aliens” in this country. As such, added to his status here is his inclusion in the roster of “blacklisted” individuals who are barred from coming back.

To note, Greth’s arrest happened Wednesday in Iloilo City where he has set-up residence, managed to find work and girlfriends. Albeit charged for numerous major sexual offenses and made public in the web, Greth lived his life like any other regular locals until Wednesday’s arrest.

In an exclusive, Greth talked to Philippine News Service (PNS) and Henry Omaga Diaz of ABS-CBN. He knew the arrest was imminent, he said, and pointed to his public life as the plausible reason.

Operatives led by Investigation Agent Arnold Diaz of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Western Visayas Regional Office (WEVRO) 6 effected the arrest marked by Greth’s peaceful surrender. He was approached by Immigration Officer II Apolonio Calingasan minutes after he got off work in Mabini Street, Iloilo City Proper.

In barely 3 minutes, the mission was accomplished with Greth duly apprised of his rights and led to an unmarked car of the NBI.

To note, a total of 16 operatives had to be tasked following earlier concerns raised by the American authorities of Greth’s supposed violent tendencies. Relatedly, PNS learned of a similar report from the Manila-based Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on alleged encounter of American authorities where Greth resisted arrest. No such mis-event occurred, though NBI WEVRO 6 Director Elfren Meneses Jr. did remind the operatives to take caution and “expect the unexpected.”

Greth in an exclusive expressed surprised as he “acknowledged” the possibility of reacting accordingly.

“I was approached well by the Immigration officer and there was no reason for me to fight at all…maybe if someone grabbed me and hurt me I would normally fight back… but that was not the case..why would I fight at all?,” Greth said. ““When I was approached…I heard him introduced himself as Immigration…I told myself, “this is it….”

Meantime, Greth prior to Saturday’s deportation was brought to the Bureau of Immigration (BI) central headquarters in Intramuros.

In a meeting with BI’s Interpol lawyers, Greth was apprised anew of the charges and corresponding action done by the Philippine government.

“We don’t judge your guilt here in the Philippines ….in fact this is your chance to go back to your country and face the charges..defend yourself…,” explained a top BI Interpol lawyer.

Greth while feigning shock and surprise on the piled-up sexual charges appeared hopeful at one point saying he would want to go back to the Philippines and retire here one day.

“I did not touch any kids here in the Philippines…of course I have girlfriends but I did not do anything wrong here to nobody… can ask anybody who knew me…..My stay here in the Philippines had nothing to do with kids….I don’t know where the charges were coming from in my own country,” he said. “There you are guilty until proven innocent.”

To note, Greth entered the Philippines in August 4, 2006 and was given until August 25, 2006 as legal stay. He said he had at least $20,000 with him upon arrival and lived for years like a rich man, “or at least it felt that way,” he quipped.

As his resources dwindled, he went from one place to the other and while in Iloilo , he assumed several names to his online and offline friends. At work though as tutor for an English tutorial center for Koreans, he went by his legal name, David Greth.

At some point, Greth was known to have accepted any handy job that would get him cash daily. A PNS source recognized him as the guy who repacked charcoal and sold if for a few pesos.

Yet it was to be his social life that was to be his upside. In fact, hours after leaving Iloilo , a local girl in her early 20s went to the NBI WEVRO 6 headquarters and introduced herself as Greth’s girl. She is 6 months pregnant as fathered by his American boyfriend “David Altman.” They were supposed to be married this December, she said in between tears and promised a college education and trip to the United States.

PNS also got confirmation of another girlfriend similarly in her early 20s from Passi City in Iloilo Province . It was not clear if the Passi City lass knows of Greth’s background however her Facebook account publicly states that she is “in a relationship” with Greth under his other alias, David Altman.

Incidentally, he was also “Robert Kline,” “George Altman” and “Kevin Altman” in Facebook and a regular in porn sites with preferred “friends” based in Iloilo City , Philippines .

Greth upon arrival in the US was to be met by agents of the US State Marshall and brought to Court of origin where has been charged.

Asked on his expectations, Greth said he wants to immediately regain lost weight and get himself prepared of his jail stay.

“I will probably end up as someone’s boyfriend….,” he said in seeming disgust.

Greth in his small talks said he wanted to serve in the US military but failed to meet the basic requirements since he dropped out of High School.

Asked on whether he wants to communicate with anybody, Greth singled out his mother. “I want my things to go to my mother…my IDs..I want her to have all of it. I will need it when I go out….I miss her so much..she has been sick….and I have a daughter in the US …I miss her too…my family…I miss them….,” he said.

The Warrant of Deportation was issued by the Head of BI Interpol Unit served by Immigration Officer II Calingasan

In sum, Greth was found to have overstayed in the Philippines , improperly documented and an undesirable alien being a fugitive in his country of origin. He will automatically be blacklisted by the bureau and barred from entering the Philippines until an order is issued otherwise or the blacklisting will be lifted.

“I love it here….the people have better attitude…..I came here to protect myself. I feared for my life in my own country. The way they treated me there was not fair,” Greth continued.

Meantime, recoveries in Greth’s personal belongings disclosed a “goodbye letter” he had made and addressed to his family. He apologized for his life and told his mother, sisters and daughter how he misses them everyday he was gone. He also wrote of how difficult his situation was saying he could not take any more of it longer. It was not clear when exactly the letter was written yet it was one of those he kept and recovered by the NBI operatives in his rented room.