Actress and former Binibining Pilipinas (Ms Philippines) titleholder Anjanette Abayari can now return to the Philippines, the Bureau of Immigration said on December 23.
Abayari was caught in Guam for possession of methamphetamine hydrochloride ("shabu") in November 1999 and was placed on the immigration bureau's blacklist and banned from re-entering the country.
Her lawyers told the bureau that Abayari has "learned her lesson from her bitter past'' and they appealed to the agency to allow her to re-enter the country of her birth where, according to them, she plans to stay permanently.
On December 23, the bureau said in a press statement that it has removed Abayari from the blacklist, which means she can now avail herself of a new law allowing former Filipinos to reacquire Filipino citizenship.
It said Abayari, 33, must report to the bureau within 10 days of her return, and apply for dual citizenship within three months under Republic Act No. 9225, or the Citizenship Retention and Reacquisition Act of 2003.
The decision to allow the actress back into the country was issued after Abayari's lawyers asked that she be removed from the blacklist.
Abayari was born in Passi, Iloilo on July 20, 1970, and migrated a few years later to the US where she later became a naturalized American citizen. She returned to the Philippines in 1996, became a beauty queen and then an actress.