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 © 2015,

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

  • Age just a number for united seniors
  • Mandaluyong City government tweaks ban on tandem riding
  • Faucets running empty in Iloilo, Cebu
  • Cabanatuan home to 51st mall of firm
  • Duterte asks NPA: Spare Palarong Pambansa
  • Sports

  • Traffic snarl disrupts Pacquiao schedule
  • Pacquiao moves ‘like a young man,’ says Nonoy Neri
  • Jinkee Pacquiao says Manny needs to knock out Mayweather
  • JRU survives furious FEU charge in Filoil
  • San Beda dismantles La Salle in OT to open Filoil campaign
  • Lifestyle

  • Rico J. Puno transferred to AHMC for heart surgery early Sunday
  • An eyeful of Jeju
  • Eternally charming Chile
  • ‘MLTV’ back with superb episodes in season 3
  • ‘Imbisibol’–how the Virgin Labfest play became an award-winning movie
  • Entertainment

  • Celeb blames frenemy for this latest intrigue
  • Elvis tribute show tonight
  • Brillante-Nora officially back in Cannes
  • Andrew Lincoln looks forward to ‘Walking Dead’ movie version
  • Part relatable human, part cold automaton
  • Business

  • Samar seeks share of tourism dollars
  • Accountant pursues love affair with makeup
  • Madrid Fusion Manila fever sweeps the Philippines
  • Island hideaway offers investment opportunities
  • McDonald’s to shutter 220 stores in China and US
  • Technology

  • Social media a key battleground in Britain’s election
  • Cyberbullying led to suicide of 24-year-old entertainer– family
  • Netizens beg to spare Veloso’s life
  • ‘Reaching Digital Distinction’ in Manila
  • Review: Getting your Apple Watch? Here’s how to use it
  • Opinion

  • Service for free
  • Show proof or apologize
  • Lampedusa
  • Breads of our life
  • I can’t write, but…
  • Global Nation

  • US Pinoys: Pray to Blessed Mother to protect us from China
  • Tagle’s ‘evangelism through art’
  • No bulletproof officials
  • Italian government honoree’s farm maintains organic practices
  • Veloso execution set on April 28, say ma, lawyers
  • PHOTOS AND VIDEOS

    • Mexican girl returns home after mistakenly sent to US

      Read More

    • Anti-human trafficking bill expected to pass Senate

      Read More

    • Taliban announce their spring offensive in Afghanistan

      Read More

    • Pope accepts resignation of bishop who didn’t report abuse

      Read More

    • Al-Shabab bombs UN van in Somalia, 4 UNICEF workers killed

      Read More

    • Wild weather lashes Sydney

      Read More

    • Pope condemns new round of murders of Christians by ISIS

      Read More

    • Utah woman gets up to life in prison in deaths of 6 newborns

      Read More

    • Clinton Foundation to continue accepting some foreign money

      Read More

    • Texas hospital says woman has given birth to 5 girls

      Read More

    • Grace Poe closes in on Jojo Binay in latest SWS presidential poll

      Read More

    • US chef Homaro Cantu, who blended science and food, dies

      Read More

    • Singapore math question goes viral, stumps adults

      Read More

    • Cubans hail removal from US list of state terrorism sponsors

      Read More

    • Clinton starts White House campaign with small-town meetings

      Read More