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

  • Cops asked to explain Revilla ‘caper’
  • People’s Park is just what Valenzuela folk wanted
  • Aid sought for baby with hole in heart
  • Fireman’s face burned in 15-hour QC inferno
  • MMDA opens own film center, archive
  • Sports

  • Blackwater snaps KIA win streak
  • NU survives two knockout volleyball matches
  • No criteria for new commish yet
  • Bermejo, Ilao whip foreign As-Pac taekwondo foes; Mora scores KO
  • Barnachea eyeing 3rd Ronda title next year
  • Lifestyle

  • With Cotto, happiness at home begins in the bathroom
  • World’s biggest private Harry Potter collection on display
  • Dress like Ines
  • ‘Waiting for Godot’ five ways (maybe six)–only one succeeds, but how
  • Pictures on the road to Provence
  • Entertainment

  • A chat with Dame Judi like a one-woman show
  • ‘Pamilya Lakwatsero’
  • That thing called ‘sequel’
  • ‘Kingsman': Espionage has a fresh face
  • Studio sacred cow a dead ringer for bossí ex-flame
  • Business

  • Acer exec visits Manila for first time, leaves impressed by locals
  • Italy offers culinary landmarks for corporate travelers
  • Students’ app promotes disaster preparedness
  • China’s central bank cuts rates again to boost economy
  • US stocks slip after weaker growth, end best month since 2011
  • Technology

  • Google’s Blogger reverses no porn policy after user backlash
  • #TheDress: So how the color debate began?
  • Blue and black? Or white and gold? Color of dress divides netizens
  • Facebook offers 59 shades of grey gender ID options
  • Hassle-free online shopping
  • Opinion

  • Editorial Cartoon, March 1, 2015
  • Danger to life and limb
  • Climbing mountains
  • Unleashing entrepreneurial ingenuity (1)
  • The improbable task of negotiating peace
  • Global Nation

  • Volunteer mission of hope educates Filipino kids in Sabah
  • Dutch cops, NBI save kids from PH porn hell
  • Cancer patient fired, wins case in SC vs Fuji TV
  • Agency’s Toronto success: From zero to million dollars
  • Worker for global workers
  • PHOTOS AND VIDEOS

    • Pot lovers light up as Washington legalizes marijuana

      Read More

    • In photos: Edsa, Wescom anniversary celebration on Kalayaan Islands

      Read More

    • APEC partylist representative in pork scam surrenders

      Read More

    • Marijuana legalization takes effect in Alaska

      Read More

    • Obama faces left-right opposition on trade, military force

      Read More

    • Are MILF members training with Abu Sayyaf rebels in Sulu?

      Read More

    • US surgeons separate 10-month-old conjoined twin girls

      Read More

    • Student marchers call for Aquino resignation

      Read More

    • #INQStory Cardinal Sin appeals to military to not use violence against people

      Read More

    • #INQStory Cardinal Sin calls on Filipinos to support Ramos and Enrile

      Read More

    • Antarctica: Mystery continent holds key to mankind’s future

      Read More

    • Some signs of tension emerge among Islamic State militants

      Read More

    • Masbate governor tagged in ‘pork’ scam turns self in to Sandiganbayan

      Read More

    • Rabbi pleads guilty to taping nude women at ritual bath

      Read More

    • Chinatown safer now, Estrada claims

      Read More