Quantcast

Aquino gave De Lima go signal for seeking passport cancellations

By

President Benigno Aquino III. AP FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—President Benigno Aquino was notified of the Department of Justice’s decision to ask for the cancellation of the passports of Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Ramon Revilla Jr. and 34 others charged with plunder in the Office of the Ombudsman.

“The President is aware of it, yes. Secretary de Lima informed the President,” said Palace spokeswoman Abigail Valte, when asked at a news briefing on Friday if Justice Secretary Leila De Lima’s action had been “given the go signal by the President.”

Valte, a lawyer, denied that this was part the administration’s way of putting pressure on the three senators, who are all members of the opposition.

“So, again, as prosecutors, it is perfectly understandable that the Department of Justice would undertake measures within the law to make sure that the respondents face the charges against them,” Valte said.

While the ground invoked by De Lima was “national security” Valte said, “I don’t think that the justice department classified them as threats to national security. I understand that the ground that is being invoked is in the interest of national security.”

“You know, as prosecutors in this particular case, they are expected… to undertake any and all measures within the law to make sure that the respondents face the charges against them. However, given that the cancellation is being sought under a particular law and under a different department, it will have to go through the proper evaluation,” she added.

In asking the Department of Foreign Affairs to cancel the passports of the three senators and their fellow respondents, De Lima told Foreign Undersecretary Rafael Seguis that there was “sufficient basis in fact and law to cancel the passports.”

She cited the Passport Act, which states that “in the interest of national security, public safety and public health, the secretary or any of the authorized consular officers may, after due hearing and in their proper discretion, refuse to issue a passport, or restrict its use or withdraw or cancel a passport.”

She said the government considered graft and corruption a national security issue  “because it saps public resources, undermines the morale of the civil service and affects the delivery of basic services.”

The crime, she added, “breeds socio-political instability as scandals degenerate into crisis situations that undermine the credibility and effectiveness of the government.”

Valte said in evaluating the DOJ’s request, the foreign office would also “be giving due consideration to, or at least receiving the opposition or the comment of, the persons who are subject of the application.”

She said the justice department had to “resort to means that would allow them to prosecute the case with less delay as possible” because several respondents were able to leave the country in the absence of formal charges filed against them in the Sandiganbayan.

“Given the gravity of the allegations that have been leveled against the respondents, we understood the step taken by the DOJ,” Valte said, adding, “Given that there are respondents that are said to have left the country while the charges are still at the Office of the Ombudsman, you can’t blame the DOJ because it wants to make sure that the case proceeds smoothly.”

Related Stories:

 

DOJ asks DFA to cancel passport of Enrile, Estrada, Revilla

DFA to ask Enrile, 2 other senators to comment on passport cancellation request

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

Copyright © 2014,

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate: c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94



News

  • ‘San Juanico Bridge,’ other tortures detailed
  • ‘I’m afraid but I must write to let young people know’—Fr. Benjamin Alforque
  • Storm-tossed vessel on Manila Bay alarms Coast Guard
  • QC schools need more rooms for ‘K to 12’
  • MBC sets nationwide search for best choirs
  • Sports

  • Bulldogs gain semis
  • A likeable foe for Pacquiao
  • China seizes 3 golds
  • Donaire taking Walters seriously
  • Dy can’t wait to get going
  • Lifestyle

  • After online affair, married man says he’s learned his lesson
  • Traffic: What to do
  • Stranded in the moment
  • Shop now for your dream vacation at K-Festival 2014 on Sept 19-21
  • Giant button gives mall goers a big surprise
  • Entertainment

  • ‘We’re no longer amused by anarchy’
  • Insider pits foe vs family
  • Eddie Redmayne on portraying Hawking
  • Robbery seen as motive for killing of Cherry Pie Picache’s mom
  • Art show standout
  • Business

  • Executives develop a taste for Scotland’s single malts
  • Marginalized farmers get lessons on sufficiency
  • Former banker charts winning course of FEU
  • Tarlac town profits from ‘ylang-ylang’ oil
  • Alibaba stock soars in jubilant trading debut
  • Technology

  • ‘Yolanda’ aid goes viral with lots of thanks to netizens
  • Online piracy thrives in Internet cloud–study
  • Review: Larger iPhones eliminate reason to switch
  • Apple locks itself out of devices with passwords
  • Amazon unveils new Fire tablets and Kindle e-readers
  • Opinion

  • Small is beautiful
  • The two faces of authoritarianism
  • Bar exam and legal education (3)
  • Development after lahar
  • God’s Word and work
  • Global Nation

  • Aquino to deliver four speeches in three days with Boston on his mind
  • Identity crisis spawns 2 books by awarded, UK-based Filipino Candy Gourlay
  • ‘Mission accomplished’: Aquino ends Europe trip, heads for Boston
  • Mother, son succeed in Land Down Under
  • Society of scholars in US honors Fil-Canadian student
  • PHOTOS AND VIDEOS

    • ‘I’m afraid but I must write to let young people know’—Fr. Benjamin Alforque

      Read More

    • 49 Turks kidnapped by IS militants freed

      Read More

    • ‘Mario’ slows down as it heads out of PH

      Read More

    • Back to back storms cause P1.14 billion in agricultural losses

      Read More

    • Damage from ‘Mario’ rises to P36M in Ilocos Norte

      Read More

    • City advisory: Marikina River below critical level

      Read More

    • Fence jumper at White House sparks evacuation

      Read More

    • Need to help inspires, drives artwork from ‘Yolanda’ wastes

      Read More

    • Davao Sur police gives treat to special kids

      Read More

    • Storm cancels Tagle’s ‘Walk’ but sharpens his climate talk

      Read More

    • Tacloban, needing P20B, gets P250M

      Read More

    • PNP lifestyle check to start with the ‘stars’

      Read More

    • Naia radar breaks down as ‘Mario’ stalls flights

      Read More

    • Red rainfall warnings lifted, Metro Manila still on Yellow

      Read More

    • After vote to stay in UK, Scots must heal divide

      Read More