Napoles' passport cancelled-A A +A
Saturday, August 17, 2013
THE Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Friday night revoked the passport of businesswoman Janet Napoles, the alleged mastermind of the pork barrel scam, to avoid possible flight to other countries.
Napoles and her brother Reynald Lim have been hiding to escape arrest over alleged serious illegal detention of whistleblower Benhur Luy.
In a text message, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said Saturday Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Rafael Seguis informed her of the department's positive response to the request of the National Prosecution Service to limit Napoles' movement.
She said Seguis issued a circular addressed to all foreign service posts, regional consular offices and the Bureau of Immigration regarding the cancellation.
"The legal basis is Section 8 of RA 8239 or the Philippine Passport Act of 1996 which provides for the grounds for cancellation of a passport, one of which is 'when the holder is a fugitive from justice,'" de Lima said.
Earlier, the Court of Appeals froze more than 400 bank and financial accounts owned by Napoles, her relatives and non-government organizations (NGOs) she supposedly used to corner priority development assistance fund (PDAF) of some lawmakers.
The DFA also cancelled the passport of former Palawan Governor Joel Reyes for allegedly hatching the assassination of environmentalist/radio commentator Gerry Ortega in January 2011 but Reyes, along with his brother and fellow accused Mario, left the Philippines in March last year using a fake passport under the name Joseph Lim Pe. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)