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

  • SC stops activities in Mt. Santo Tomas forest
  • Trillanes willing to undergo lifestyle check with Binay
  • Incentives, instead of pay hike, set for gov’t workers in 2015—DBM chief Abad
  • Roxas denies ties with group pushing for Aquino’s term extension
  • Palawan bishop slams Aquino for downplaying media killings in PH
  • Sports

  • Boxers assure PH of at least 3 more bronzes in Asian Games
  • Everything came apart for Gilas in loss to Qatar, says Chot Reyes
  • Be circumspect and focused, Abap urges Asian Games boxing judges
  • Inspired Nishikori ready for London ATP final
  • Asian Games: Malaysian gold medal winner expelled for doping
  • Lifestyle

  • Jollibee named one of ‘best foreign fast-food chains’ in US
  • Cancer doctor given 10 years for poisoning lover
  • Debut fiction writer wins $25,000 Bingham Prize
  • Giant button gives mall goers a big surprise
  • 7 tips for fun, safe travel with your pet
  • Entertainment

  • Coco Martin ‘extremely sorry’ for anti-women act in ‘The Naked Truth’
  • Jason Mraz returns for Nov. 27 gig at Smart Araneta Coliseum
  • Fabio Ide admits fathering a child from ‘casual encounter’
  • Jake Ejercito: Andi still my greatest love
  • ‘Dementia’: Into the dark, racking realm of paranoia
  • Business

  • Hong Kong stocks fall 1.20% by lunch
  • Aquino to businessmen: Nothing to fear of additional authority
  • Qantas puts world’s largest plane on longest route
  • Vietnam’s growth accelerates despite anti-China riots
  • Toyota recalls 690,000 pickups in US over fire risk
  • Technology

  • Netizens blast sexy model for using cop connection to beat traffic violation
  • Palace backs prepaid SIM registration
  • Man, wife behind ‘crush’ videos get life sentence
  • Turkey’s president dismisses new iPhone: ‘Same as the last’
  • China busts smugglers of iPhone 6 in Shanghai
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, September 30, 2014
  • All hands on deck
  • Feedback
  • Brion’s hand on Abad’s collar
  • Small business and Asean integration
  • Global Nation

  • Crowd, not ISIS, seen as ‘threat’ to Pope visit, says Catapang
  • PH won’t send health workers to Ebola-hit countries…for now
  • Banned ‘child flu medicine’ in US now in Manila store shelves
  • Del Rosario sounds alarm vs China’s ‘dangerous, reckless, forceful activities’
  • OFWs in Hong Kong told to stay away from protests
  • PHOTOS AND VIDEOS

    • White House intruder got far past front door

      Read More

    • Obama in the mood for Modi, hosts India’s PM for White House visit

      Read More

    • Defiant Hong Kong protesters refuse to budge

      Read More

    • Abad grilled in Senate over non-itemized budget allocation

      Read More

    • A peek into wealth of the Top 10’s richest

      Read More

    • Protesters spend peaceful night in Hong Kong

      Read More

    • Fire hits residential area in Manila—report

      Read More

    • 800 rounds of ammunition found in White House intruder’s car

      Read More

    • Obama efforts to oust Assad pushed to back burner

      Read More

    • Iceland announces men-only UN meeting on women

      Read More

    • American beheading suspect’s mother apologizes in video

      Read More

    • Binay rating falls; rivals up

      Read More

    • Japan, N. Korea meet over Cold War kidnappings

      Read More

    • Snatchers caught on video arrested

      Read More

    • Hong Kong riot police ‘withdrawn’ from protests – gov’t

      Read More