DOJ Secretary Leila de Lima admits she can’t stop Sen. Jinggoy Estrada from flying to the US despite a request to cancel his passport

She says Estrada promised to come back.

Leonard Postrado and Madel Sabater Namit of the Manila Bulletin report that Justice Secretary Leila de Lima admitted on Monday (October 28) "that there is no legal impediment" to Senator Jinggoy Estrada's plan to leave for the United States soon to accompany his wife in seeking a second opinion for her medical condition.


According to the report, de Lima explained that the Department of Justice (DOJ) cannot do anything to stop Estrada's travel since "the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has not acted on the DOJ request that his passport and those of others accused of plunder in the pork barrel scam be cancelled." Since the Office of the Ombudsman has not yet filed a case against Estrada and his 37 co-respondents in the case, no warrant of arrest may be issued to prevent them from leaving the country.


De Lima said Estrada promised her he would return within the month of November from his US trip. She added that the government can count on the senator to come back to the Philippines "especially so that it's accompanied by a publicly declared undertaking to return."


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