A BUREAU of Immigration (BI) official in Cebu said they will coordinate with the Department of Justice (DOJ) in Manila to hold the departure of Nel Spencer Tiu in case he tries to leave the country.
BI 7 Alien Control Officer Joel Valencia Jr. said that only the DOJ can issue a hold departure order (HDO), which will be encoded immediately in their system before a copy is sent to all immigration officers outside Manila.
Valencia said there is no HDO against Tiu yet, so they will just inform the DOJ in Manila in the event Tiu attempts to go abroad.
Tiu was the boyfriend and one of the companions of Ashley Abad, a 19-year-old student who collapsed at a pre-Sinulog party at the Cebu Business Park last Jan. 19 after taking the party drug Ecstasy.
An autopsy confirmed the Ecstasy overdose, according to Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 Chief Debold Sinas.
Another immigration officer who requested anonymity said in a separate interview that they can prevent Tiu from leaving the country based on the order of the President to arrest him.
The immigration officer cited as an example former president and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Arroyo, who was stopped at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport when she tried to go abroad for a medical check-up with the permission of the Supreme Court.
Benny Abad, the spokesman of the Abad family and uncle of Ashley, said President Rodrigo Duterte promised them that Tiu and his companions would be issued HDO to prevent them from leaving for other countries.
“I can assure you that they (Tiu and company) cannot leave the country,” Benny quoted Duterte as saying.
“By that, we expect that the Bureau of Immigration will stop Tiu from leaving the country,” Benny said.
Duterte gave that assurance during their meeting in Malacañang on Thursday, Feb. 7.
In that meeting, Duterte reportedly ordered Senior Supt. Royina Garma, chief of the Cebu City Police Office, to arrest Tiu and file homicide charges against him.
In an earlier interview, Ashley’s father, Jose Alfonso “Joal” Abad, told Sunstar Cebu that upon arriving at the Perpetual Succuor Hospital past midnight of Jan. 20, Tiu admitted to him that Ashley collapsed after taking Ecstasy.
Since the incident, Benny and Joal said Tiu has been uncooperative in the investigation. (EOB)