PDEA ‘suspicious’ of foreign trips of ‘narcopols’
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) looks with suspicion on the foreign trips of politicians on the “narcolist” earlier publicized by President Rodrigo Duterte.
While there is no directive to ban alleged narcopols from leaving the country, their trips would be suspicious, especially as they face probe on their alleged involvement in illegal drugs, said PDEA chief Aaron Aquino.
“Wala namang ganito na talagang pipigilan sila sa paglabas ng bansa pero syempre unang-una magiging suspicious tayo doon kung bakit sila lumalabas ng bansa,” Aquino said in an interview with dzBB.
(There is no order to stop them from leaving the country but we will be suspicious why they are leaving the country.)
On Tuesday evening, Mayor Crisinciano Enot Mahilac of Sinacaban, Misamis Oriental, was allowed to leave for Singapore with his family.
The Bureau of Immigration said the mayor had no derogatory record to prompt any hindrance to him leaving the country. Mahilac and his family also have return flights to Manila after two days.
“Dapat walang violation sa kanyang paglabas ng bansa otherwise pwede siyang kasuhan na naman ng administratibo… Aalamin din if he is authorized in the first place to go outside the country and if there is a violation doon sa paglabas niya ng ibang bansa,” Aquino said.
(There should be no violation in his travel abroad otherwise he may face another administrative case. We will also look if he is authorized to leave in the first place and if there is a violation in his travel outside the country.)
Based on the Local Government Code, if the travel of any local chief executive is official and uses public funds, he should secure the approval of both the governor and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), said Interior Undersecretary and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya in a text message to INQUIRER.net.
If the trip is personal, does not use public funds, and does not exceed three months, only the approval of the governor is required, Malaya said.
Municipal mayors should comply with such rules to be able to travel abroad, unless they are prevented to do so by a watch list order issued by a court or the Department of Justice, or by a hold-departure order, he added.
“The rules as stated above apply to all including those on the narcolist,” said Malaya.
The initial narcolist includes the names of 46 incumbent politicians. /cbb
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