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Lookout order issued vs De Lima, 5 others

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II on Monday ordered to place Senator Leila de Lima and five others under the Immigration Lookout Bulletin Order (ILBO) for their alleged involvement in the proliferation of illegal drugs at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa City.

In his urgent memorandum, Aguirre directed Bureau of Immigration (BI) Commissioner Jaime Morente to closely watch de Lima, former Justice Undersecretary Francisco Baraan III, former Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) Director Franklin Jesus Bucayu, former Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission (PAOCC) head Reginald Villasanta, her former aide Joenel Sanchez, and her alleged former lover and driver Ronnie Dayan.

“Based on the request of the NBI (National Bureau of Investigation), the individuals subject of this ILBO are allegedly involved in the proliferation and trade of illegal drugs inside the National Bilibid Prison (NBP) and other areas,” read his memorandum dated October 7.

Secretary Aguirre told Morente that the six should “not be allowed to leave the country without corresponding travel authority from their heads of offices.”

“Considering the gravity of the possible commission of any offense, there is a strong possibility that they may attempt to place themselves beyond the reach of the legal processes of this Department by leaving the country,” Aguirre pointed out.

“We thus deem the issuance of an ILBO against the subject persons prudent in order to at least monitor the itineraries of their flight, travel, and/or whereabouts,” added the official.

Apart from disseminating the details of the ILBO, Aguirre also ordered the BI to immediately inform the Department of Justice (DoJ), the NBI and other concerned government agencies if any of them are “attempting to leave the country, and other relevant information that may be the basis for the proper cause of action to be undertaken by the immigration officers.”

Meanwhile, Senator de Lima said she is mulling legal action against the DoJ for the ILBO against her and five other persons.

“As far as I know there is still no basis for a lookout bulletin against me, considering that not even the DoJ has dared file a case against me with the Ombudsman despite the House hearings,” De Lima said in a text message.

“I don’t think a lookout bulletin can be justified using a kangaroo court’s persecution of a sitting senator. I will take the necessary legal action against this latest assault on my person by my successor at the DoJ,” she said. (with a report from Hannah L. Torregoza) (JEFFREY G. DAMICOG)

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