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5 narco-generals placed in watch list

The five active and retired generals of the Philippine National Police accused by President Duterte of involvement in the illegal drugs trade were placed in the Immigration Lookout Bulletin Order to prevent them from leaving the country yesterday.

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre ordered the Bureau of Immigration to place Director Joel D. Pagdilao, Chief Supt. Bernardo Diaz, Chief Supt. Edgardo G. Tinio, and retired Deputy Director General Marcelo Garbo Jr. and Chief Supt. now Daanbatayan, Cebu Mayor Vicente Loot in the watch list based on the request of Interior and Local Government Secretary Ismael Sueno.

In a memorandum, Aguirre instructed BI Commissioner Jaime Morente to have all immigration officers on the lookout for any of the generals in the country’s international ports and sea ports.

If any of them have been spotted, immigration officers are directed to immediately inform the office of Sueno of “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.”

Aguirre strongly warned immigrations officers “against waiting until boarding time to inform concerned offices of any attempt to leave the country.”

Sueno had earlier said that placing the five generals in the watch list would prevent them from fleeing the investigation being conducted by the Department of Interior and Local Government and National Police Commission.

He said that any issuance of any order that would include the five generals in watch list would help in expediting the investigation being conducted by the Napolcom.

Sueno said the DILG and the Philippine National Police should always be aware of the whereabouts of the five generals because of the seriousness of the allegations against them.

“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,” said Sueno.

“We are hoping that this would be relayed to the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation soon and a watch list order be issued immediately so that we would know the destinations of these generals in the event that they would be leaving the country as well as their purpose in going abroad,” said Sueno.

The DILG and PNP, through the Napolcom, vowed to conduct an immediate investigation on the five generals, with Sueno ordering the PNP to conduct a lifestyle check to identify other cops involved in the illegal drugs trade.

The Justice Secretary may issue a watch list order against any person “upon the request of any government agency in connection with any investigation being conducted by it” based on Department of Justice Circular No. 41 issued in 2010. (Jeffrey G. Damicog and Aaron B. Recuenco)