62-year-old Filipino man gets 6 months imprisonment, Filipino woman’s  case withdrawn

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Sitting quietly in one corner of the public gallery in a courtroom of Shatin Magistrate’s courts in today’s court hearing, June 10, a Filipino man stood up and went in front when his name was called to face the magistrate.

The Filipino interpreter immediately asked his name and language to be used as part of the court proceedings and the Filipino man answered in a soft voice confirming his name and his language to be spoken in the court.

The interpreter read and interpreted in Tagalog the charge against the man, Cantos J.L.

Cantos J.L., 62 years old, was charged with Breach of Condition of Stay, under Cap. 115 of Immigration Ordinance, Section 41.

Cantos J.L. arrived in Hong Kong to work as a domestic worker. His employment visa ended on September 15, 2010, and continued to stay in Hong Kong without a visa. On 10 May 2022, he reported to the Immigration Department. Upon the investigation of the ImmD, Cantos J.L. was found overstaying in Hong Kong for 11 years and seven months.

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His defense lawyer presented during the mitigation that the Filipino man is married with two sons living in the Philippines. He has no record of any violation or crime in Hong Kong and voluntarily surrendered himself to the Immigration department of his status. The defense lawyer also said that Cantos wished to be back with his family the soonest time possible.

Acting Principal Magistrate David Cheung Chi-wai announced for the period of his violation of the Immigration ordinance for 11 years and seven months, his punishment should have a corresponding 12 months imprisonment.

But, the acting Principal Magistrate Cheung continued, as he pleaded guilty in the court, 1/3 of 12 months was deducted, or reduced to 8 months imprisonment instead. But, as Cantos J.L. surrendered, another 2 months were deducted, so the total months of imprisonment given to him were 6 months.

Meanwhile, earlier, in the case of a Filipino woman, Paine J.T.,  who was in custody, and presented in the dock of the courtroom, the prosecutor announced that the case against her of breach of condition of stay was withdrawn. As there was no case against the 36-year-old Filipino woman, the Acting Magistrate said that she was free to leave the court.