DFA told to cancel passport of Manila ‘drug queen’
MANILA, Philippines – Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon on Monday asked the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to immediately cancel the passport of alleged drug queen Guia Gomez Castro.
In a statement, Drilon said that the former village chief “can be considered a fugitive from justice.”
Castro, who was earlier tagged as the Manila-based “drug queen,” has been flying in and out of the country, according to the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO).
An NCRPO showed that Castro arrived in the Philippines from Vancouver, Canada last September 18.
She also reportedly left Manila for Bangkok on September 21 this year.
“It appears that Mrs. Castro does not intend to return to the country and face the warrants of arrest issued against her since 2002 for violation of Republic Act 6425 or the Dangerous Drugs Act. Hence, she is a fugitive from justice,” Drilon said.
Citing Republic Act 8239 or the Philippine Passport Act, Drilon said the foreign affairs secretary is authorized to cancel a passport “in the interest of national security” or when the holder of the passport is a fugitive from justice.
Drilon, a former justice secretary, explained that “well-settled jurisprudence defines fugitive from justice as a person, who, having committed a crime, flees from the jurisdiction of the court where a crime was committed, departs from his usual place of abode and conceals himself and is found within the territory of another.”
Based on jurisprudence, he further said, conviction is not a requirement to consider a person as a fugitive from justice, noting that filing of charges prior to flight is not always an antecedent requirement to label one a “fugitive from justice”.
“The jurisprudence clarifies that mere commission of a crime and subsequent flight thereto sufficiently meets the definition of a fugitive,” Drilon said.
“Hence, the DFA, to avoid miscarriage of justice and by virtue of the Philippine Passport Act, can validly and lawfully cancel her passport so we can restrict Castro’s movement, and summon her back to the country to face charges against her,” he added. /gsg
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