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Baraan fails to return to PH

Facing illegal drug raps, former Justice Undersecretary Francisco Baraan III failed to return to the Philippines from the United States on the expected day of his arrival, authorities revealed yesterday.

Justice Undersecretary Erickson Balmes said that the Bureau of Immigration (BI) reported that Baraan was supposed to return from his US trip on October 23, 2016.

“To date he has not returned to the Philippines,” said Balmes.

Earlier, Baraan’s son, Frank Baraan IV, issued a statement that his father left for the US on August 25 “for health and medical reasons.”

“Rest assured, he isn’t running away from anything, or avoiding any possible prosecution. He would face all allegations and issues aginst him in a real court of law – not in a court of ‘trial by publicicty’ – if and when somebody actually files formal complaints against him,” read the statement.

Last October 11, the Victims Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) led by its head Dante Jimenez and their lawyer Ferdinand Topacio filed before the Department of Justice (DoJ) a drug complaint against former Undersecretary Baraan.

Senator Leila de Lima, convicted criminal and self-confessed drug trader Jaybee Sebastian and five others were included in the charge filed in connection with the proliferation of narcotics inside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP). (Jeffrey G. Damicog)