Troy Rike of the National University (NU) Bulldogs revealed yesterday that he was wrongfully arrested and detained for 24 hours by agents of the Bureau of Immigration (BI) on 19 September.
In a television interview, the varsity cager raised in the United States said he was questioned regarding his dual citizenship and stay in the country.
Rike recounted that after the Bulldogs’ game against De La Salle at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, he was served a warrant of arrest by immigration personnel.
The ground cited for his arrest was that he was studying in the Philippines without the proper documents like a student’s visa.
But Rike maintained that as a dual citizen of both the US and the Philippines, he is permitted to reside and study in the country since he is not a foreigner.
“I don’t think it was justified what they did. I don’t think they do this in general just rounding up Americans, saying ‘show me your papers’ so I do feel I was singled out and that’s not okay in my opinion,” Rike said.
Immigration spokesman Dana Sandoval said the agency received information “about a possible immigration violation” and that it acted on it by taking Rike into custody.
The 22-year-old Filipino-American player argued that even if he arrived in May with an American passport, he is also a Filipino citizen.
“The good thing (was that) everyone was very respectful. But at the end of the day I’m being detained against my will for more than 24 hours,” Rike said.
“You sleep on the floor, you don’t know what’s going on. I’m questioning my whole future here,” he added.
Rike said he was released on 20 September after producing his Philippine passport, Certificate of Recognition as Filipino Citizen and birth certificate.