PH has no jurisdiction on propriety of Bato’s Vegas trip—Sotto
Senate Majority Leader Vicente “Tito” Sotto III believes that the chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) did not violate Philippine law when he accepted travel perks from boxing champion and Senator Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao.
Sotto said he asked some lawyers and even a judge, who had told him that the Philippines has no jurisdiction over the possible offense committed by PNP chief Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, who admitted that his Las Vegas trip last November 6 was shouldered by the senator.
The Office of the Ombudsman has ordered an investigation into the propriety of Dela Rosa’s trip.
“Judge nga ang pinagtanungan ko e. Ang krimen ginawa sa Las Vegas (I asked a judge. The alleged crime was committed in Las Vegas)…” Sotto said in an interview on Tuesday.
Told about the issue of propriety being raised against Dela Rosa, the senator said this could be raised easily against anyone.
“Kagaya ko madalas akong maimbitahan, ang nagbabayad ng kinakain ko ay yung nagimbita. Ang ibig sabihin ba magprisinta ako na ako na magbayad kasi senador ako baka ma-charge ako? Katulad nun, inimbitahan ni Sen Pacquiao si Dela Rosa,” he said.
(I’m frequently invited as well, those who invited me pay for my expenses. Does that mean that if I offer to pay for it because I’m a senator, I might be charged? Just like Sen Pacquiao has invited Dela Rosa.)
“Pero ang issue dun is hindi dito nangyari. Yun ang aking punto. Tanungin nyo yung mga abogado (But the issue is it did not happen in the Philippines. That’s my point. Ask the lawyers).”
Sotto reiterated that any person charged with any wrongdoing could be held liable only in a country where the offense was committed.
“Ganun ang batas. Hindi mo dito sa Pilipinas ginawa yung krimen, hindi ka mananagot dito. Doon ka mananagot sa pinaggawan mo ng krimen, kung krimen yung ginawa mo (That’s the law. You didn’t commit the crime here in the Philippines, you won’t be held liable here. You would be held liable in the country where you committed the crime, if it’s really a crime),” he further said
The senator cited as example public officials in the Philippines who are barred from playing in casinos within the country.
But the moment the public officials step out of the country, Sotto said, they could play in any casinos as they are no longer covered by the Philippine law. RAM/rga
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