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

  • Simbang Gabi at the Gesu (Day 6)
  • MRT, LRT fares up starting Jan. 4
  • Cops see Romero pa-son feud in Manila port shoot-out
  • Pasay cops’ raps vs Aiko’s ex need ‘clarity,’ says prosecutor
  • Pandacan oil depot ‘decontamination’ pushed after Big 3 exit
  • Sports

  • Painters even series with Aces
  • No more basketball for Chot Reyes
  • Demchenko holds off Laylo, snares Int’l Challenge title
  • Elorde holiday fight card up
  • Honing young aces still TJGL’s mission
  • Lifestyle

  • Seven things to enjoy in 1D World
  • Holiday mall hours during Christmas, New Year
  • Coelho says Sony hack threatens all
  • Auschwitz victim suitcases get high-tech storage
  • DOH gives tips on gift-giving
  • Entertainment

  • Young stars cook up fake romance
  • Stars on Christmas, Part 2
  • Metro Manila Film Festival guide: My Big Bossing
  • ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ next on his list for PH
  • Solenn Heussaff wants small, intimate wedding
  • Business

  • Christmas: A time for selling, extra hiring
  • In aftermath of typhoon Glenda, Gabriela is born
  • Dining choices sprout in CBD
  • On 20th year, TGIFriday’s moves on, looks back
  • 4 oil firms to cut fuel prices
  • Technology

  • 5 ways to make your email safer in case of a hack attack 
  • North Korea denies connection with Sony hacking
  • Kim Jong Un game spoof ‘Glorious Leader!’ moving forward
  • Earn more entries to Inquirer’s promo and win a condo
  • Parents warned vs Net lingo: ‘Let’s try 8’
  • Opinion

  • Uproar over Uber taxi
  • How to use Uber
  • Editorial cartoon, December 20, 2014
  • Down this road before
  • Bilibid and the military
  • Global Nation

  • PNP releases Pemberton mugshot
  • Life on streets is difficult, but free, says anthropologist
  • DFA looks into China plan to build maritime observation network
  • DFA releases authentication service schedule for holiday season
  • Pemberton shows up for first time
  • PHOTOS AND VIDEOS

    • Simbang Gabi at the Gesu (Day 5)

      Read More

    • Hack attack vs Sony Pictures spurs call for more North Korea sanctions

      Read More

    • Labor groups hit US-PH ties as they mark CPP 46th anniversary

      Read More

    • Yolanda-hit fisherfolk get 40 new houses

      Read More

    • Simbang Gabi at the Gesu (Day 4)

      Read More

    • Clinton denounces torture, says black lives matter

      Read More

    • 141—mostly children—killed in Pakistan attack

      Read More

    • ‘I saw death so close': student recalls Pakistan school carnage

      Read More

    • Simbang Gabi at the Gesu (Day 2)

      Read More

    • Tens of thousands dead in South Sudan conflict–UN

      Read More

    • Russia vows more pain for Ukraine

      Read More

    • Greenland ice loss may be worse than predicted—study

      Read More

    • 15,000 join anti-Islam protest in Germany

      Read More

    • 6 dead, suspect on loose in US

      Read More

    • Nightmare before Christmas in Sydney ends in bangs, bloodshed

      Read More