By: Jun Ramirez
The Bureau of Immigration (BI) operatives have arrested an American woman wanted by US federal authorities for kidnapping her two children and bringing them to the Philippines.
BI Commissioner Jaime Morente identified the fugitive as Ana Centillas Lorrigan, 57, who was apprehended last Friday in Bgy. Calapacuan, Subic, Zambales by agents from the bureau’s fugitive search unit (FSU).
Morente said Lorrigan will be deported to the US for being an undocumented alien as her US passport and that of her two children have already expired.
“Lorrigan left her children with her sister, and has become undocumented and as a consequence she lost her privilege to stay here,” the BI chief said.
Earlier, the US embassy in Manila informed the BI that Lorrigan is wanted to stand trial before a US district court in southern California where she was indicted for the crime of international parental kidnapping.
The International Parental Kidnapping Crime Act, a US federal law enacted in 1993, makes it a crime to remove a child from the US or retain a child outside the US with the intent to obstruct a parent’s custodial rights, or to attempt to do so.
Individuals found guilty of violating the said law may be sentenced to a maximum jail term of three years.
Lawyer Ma. Antonette Mangrobang, BI spokesperson, disclosed that Lorrigan and her children, a girl and a boy, entered the Philippines on April 15, 2011 and did not leave the country since then.