DFA confirms: Azurin denied entry to Canada, voluntarily flew back to PH
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has confirmed that retired police general Rodolfo Azurin Jr. was prevented from entering Canada during a recent personal trip and voluntarily returned to the Philippines after the incident.
However, the reason Azurin was stopped in the first place was not revealed during the House plenary debates on the DFA’s proposed 2024 budget on Wednesday.
The issue was brought up by Minority Leader and 4Ps Rep. Marcelino Libanan, who asked the DFA budget sponsor and Nueva Ecija 2nd District Rep. Joseph Gilbert Violago for updates.
“General Azurin voluntarily went to Canada, and bigla po siyang bumalik ng bansa (he suddenly went back to the Philippines), and the Canadian government is trying to look into what happened and the Canadian embassy will go back to our Philippine embassy to relay what really happened in that incident, Mr. Speaker,” Violago said.
“Mr. Speaker, parang nagkaroon po ng misunderstanding, misinterpretation doon sa nangyari (there seems to be a misunderstanding and misinterpretation with what happened), and the Canadian government expressed their regrets for the miscommunication, Mr. Speaker,” he added.
Violago said DFA has not yet obtained the full details of the incident but added that the Canadian government would relay a report to the Philippine embassy soon.
The budget sponsor also noted that DFA could not assist Azurin because the former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief voluntarily returned to the Philippines.
“Due to, for privacy purposes, hindi pa madi-divulge ‘yong (we cannot divulge that) report na ‘yon […] And the Canadian government will be the one to relay the official statement of the government to our Philippine embassy,” Violago said.
“Mr. Speaker, wala nang nagawa ang Philippine embassy kasi General Azurin voluntarily returned, kaya wala nang naging assistance about the incident […] General Azurin went to Canada on his private capacity, so practically since hindi naman po official ‘yong trip niya, so wala rin pong assistance na magagawa just in case, Mr. Speaker,” he added.
(Mr. Speaker, the Philippine embassy wasn’t able to do anything because General Azurin voluntarily returned, so no assistance was provided for him regarding the incident […] General Azurin went to Canada in his private capacity, so practically since it is not an official trip, we cannot assist him.)
Libanan meanwhile said that this is an essential issue because it raises questions as to whether or not past PNP officials would be barred from entering another country.
“Napaka-importante po itong issue na ito. Bakit, ang mangyayari ba lahat ng former PNP officials natin ay i-intercept sa mga bansang ito at pauuwiin sa ating bansa? We have to be clarified on this, Mr. Speaker,” Libanan said.
(This issue is very important. Why would all former PNP officials be intercepted in these countries and sent back to the Philippines? We have to be clarified on this, Mr. Speaker.)
In a statement on Tuesday, Azurin confirmed that he was indeed sent back from Canada. However, he accused an unnamed incumbent police general of allegedly spreading lies about him.
According to Azurin, this official might have “tipped off” Canadian Immigration by feeding them with “half-truths and many lies” so he could be deported.
“[This police general] had been spreading lies about my alleged deportation. Maybe he knows something that everyone in our country does not know,” Azurin said in a statement sent to reporters.
“Maybe it was him who tipped the Canadian Immigration by concocting half-truths and many lies and had been hoping that I would be deported. He had been sending messages about my deportation. Sorry hindi po ganun nangyari (Sorry, that’s not what happened),” he added.
He also called on PNP chief Gen. Benjamin Acorda Jr. to check on the said official.
“All indicators are very revealing that [he] has something to do with what happened…all footprints are leading to him… CPNP Acorda should find it out!” he added.