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DFA wants individuals involved in pork scam to explain over passport cancellation

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Department of Foreign Affairs spokesman Raul Hernandez AP FILE PHOTO

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) wants an explanation from Senator Juan Ponce Enrile, Senator Jinggoy Estrada, Senator Ramon Revilla Jr. and 34 other individuals involved in the P10 billion pork barrel scam over the cancellation of their passports asked by Justice Secretary Leila De Lima, Foreign Affairs spokesman Raul Hernandez said on Friday.

Hernandez said that the DFA already received the letter sent by De Lima asking for the cancellation of the passports of Estrada, Enrile, Revilla and 34 other individuals involved in the amassing millions of pesos from the priority development assistance fund.

Hernandez bared to DZRH that the Foreign Affairs department is studying the letter of De Lima and that they will first sought comments from the individuals involved before making a decision.

De Lima on Thursday asked the DFA to cancel the passports of the involved in the multi-billion scam due to reasons of: the possibility of flight, national security and the gravity of the crime.

“The possibility that several of the subject persons will be in detention throughout the trial of their case is high, and therefore there is a strong probability that they will attempt to leave the country in order to evade arrest, detention, and prosecution altogether,” De Lima said in the letter.

The three senators and 34 others are facing graft and malversation charges before the Ombudsman.

The Philippine Passport Act provides three conditions for passports to be revoked namely when the holder is a “fugitive from justice, convicted of a criminal offense” or “when a passport was acquired fraudulently or tampered with.”

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