maritime security

Customs: Actor’s airport delay did not happen in PH

The Bureau of Customs doubts the story of Hollywood actor Taylor Kitsch about an encounter with an allegedly corrupt Filipino customs officer.

COME HERE. Hollywood Star Taylor Kitsch said a Filipino Customs officer motioned to him and then barred him from entering the Philippines for no reason. The Bureau of Customs denies the incident happened in the Philippines.

MANILA, Philippines – He is the star of Hollywood blockbusters John Carter and X-Men Origins: Wolverine but a Filipino Customs officer supposedly does not know Taylor Kitsch.

The celebrity complained about being stopped by a Customs officer in the Philippines while filming his movie Savages. The Philippines’ Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon, however, said the film was shot in Indonesia

Kitsch said the customs officer asked him for an iPhone. He did not say when the supposed incident happened.

In a guesting on the Late Show with David Letterman, Kitsch narrated how the officer allegedly barred him from entering the Philippines even if he had a visa to work in the country. (Watch the interview below)

“He’s like, ‘There’s not enough pages [in your passport] so I can’t stamp it so you’re gone.’ And I’m like, ‘Woah, hold on, I can work here, I’ve got the visa,’” said Kitsch.

“He didn’t believe I was an actor so I’m literally pitching myself to this guy….’I’m like here to work, finish Oliver Stone’s movie. John Travolta’s in it. And he’s like, ‘Where’s Travolta?’ And I’m like, he’s not here!”

Get me an iPhone

Exasperated, Kitsch said he took out his iPhone to show the officer video of his movie projects.

“And he’s like, ‘Hey, can you get me one of those?’ And I’m like, ‘Can you let me in and I’ll give you one of these?’”

Kitsch said the officer still did not believe him until finally, he showed him the trailer of John Carter.

“He’s like, ‘You have short hair.’ And I’m like, ‘Mate, it’s just, I cut it. It grows. It’s me!’ And so like finally, he goes, ‘I love the trailer, go ahead. You’re in.’ So John Carter got me out of Customs.”

The 30-year-old Kitsch is a Canadian actor and model. He is best known for starring in the NBC television series Friday Night Lights.

Shot in Indonesia 

While Kitsch and Letterman were laughing throughout the interview, Customs Commissioner Biazon was not amused. He ordered an investigation into the supposed incident.

Biazon responded to queries via his Twitter account @ruffybiazon and listed his initial findings on the issue on his blog. He stressed that Savages was shot in Indonesia. 

“Apparently, Taylor Kitsch is unfamiliar with the Philippine set-up. PH Customs DOES NOT stamp passports and look for visas,” he tweeted.

“Anyone who travels in PH knows that the first line agency travelers go through is IMMIGRATION, which checks passports and visas.”

Biazon added that Customs does not have the authority to deny travelers entry into the country and send them on the next flight out.

“But just the same, I will have this investigated.”

Biazon’s office Twitter account @CommissionerBOC also gave updates on the incident.

“At this time, Bureau of Immigration records show no traveller by the name Taylor Kitsch entering the Philippines. Mr Kitsch may have been using a different name in his passport. Taylor Kitsch may be his screen name different from his real name.”

Rage, embarrassment 

Despite questions on the story of Kitsch, Filipinos online felt strongly about the supposed incident. 

– Rappler.com

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