5 ‘narco’ generals on watch list
The Bureau of Immigration (BI) has placed five Philippine National Police generals allegedly involved in the illegal drugs trade on its watch list in response to the lookout bulletin order (LBO) issued by the Department of Justice (DOJ) against them.
“We already alerted all ports. Our personnel have been ordered to implement departure protocols,” said BI spokesperson Antonette Mangrobang in a text message.
Those in the list were retired Deputy Director Gen. Marcelo Garbo; retired Chief Supt. and now Daanbantayan, Cebu Mayor Vicente Loot; Police Director Joel Pagdilao; and Chief Superintendents Edgardo Tinio and Bernardo Diaz.
However, the generals will not be barred from leaving the country since no hold departure order (HDO) has been issued against them.
An LBO issued against a person does not necessarily mean that he/she cannot leave the country. It only directs immigration officers to coordinate with the proper agency if there is an attempt by any individual on the LBO list to leave the country.
“Our officers will implement strict departure protocols, like the subjects will be asked to present travel authority from their department, those kinds of requirements,” she said.
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre III on Wednesday directed the BI to place under its lookout list the five police generals whom President Duterte accused of coddling big time drug lords.
In a three-page memorandum to the BI, Aguirre instructed all immigration officers to be on the lookout for the five police generals should they pass through immigration counters in all international and domestic airports and seaports across the country.
The immigration office was also instructed to coordinate with the Department Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the National Police Commission (Napolcom) in implementing the immigration lookout listing.
“For the commissioner of the Bureau of Immigration to promptly relay to the office of the secretary this department, any pertinent information, especially those tending to indicate that the subjects are attempting to leave the country, and other relevant information that may be the basis for the proper course of action to be taken by immigration officers,” the memorandum said.
It added that “all concerned are strongly warned against waiting until boarding time to inform the concerned offices of any attempt to leave the country.”
The lookout order was based on the request of Interior Secretary Ismael Sueno.
“At this crucial time when the issue about their alleged involvement in the illegal drug trade is being investigated, we would actually prefer that these generals would not be able to leave the country,” Sueno said in a letter Aguirre.
Department of Justice Circular No. 41 provides that the Secretary of Justice may issue a watchlist order against any person upon the request of any government agency in connection with any investigation being conducted, or in the interest of national security, public safety or public health, among others.
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