De Lima more careful on Lacson case
MANILA, Philippines—Is the tough-talking Justice Secretary Leila de Lima softening up on Sen. Panfilo Lacson?
Instead of her usual fiery stance, De Lima on Monday said she would wait for the Bureau of Immigration’s (BI) report on its investigation of Lacson’s alleged use of fake travel papers before making any comment on the possible case that could be filed against the lawmaker.
Speaking with reporters, De Lima confirmed that she had received a letter from Foreign Undersecretary Rafael Seguis informing her that the serial number that appears on Lacson’s travel documents “has not yet been issued.”
“The DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs) informed me about those supposed irregularities in the (travel documents). I’m just waiting for the report of the BI so that I would know if there’s cause for the filing of a case,” De Lima said.
She said it was important to wait for the BI’s findings since Lacson was quoted in the media as saying that his travel papers were authentic.
“I want to complete the picture first especially because of the senator’s denial. I want to get the facts from the BI to see if the (purported violations) are really actionable,” De Lima said.
Lacson presented the travel documents to immigration personnel when he arrived at the Mactan Cebu International Airport on March 26 after a yearlong life on the run.
De Lima, who had engaged Lacson in a virtual word war over his alleged involvement in the Dacer-Corbito double murder, said she would ask Immigration commissioner Ricardo David about the status of the BI’s investigation on the matter.
The justice secretary also directed the BI, an attached agency of the Department of Justice, to look into the circumstances of Lacson’s purported stay abroad despite the cancelation of his passport.
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