THE head of the Bureau of Immigration (BI) and two associate commissioners were given another 30 days to serve in the agency.

Newly appointed Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said the services of Commissioner Marcelino Libanan, Associate Commissioners Enrique Galang Jr., and Roy Almoro were extended for one month so as not to disrupt the work in the bureau.

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The three officials were covered by Memorandum Circular no. 1, issued by Malacanang last June 30, since they are presidential appointees under co-terminus status.

Libanan sought the help of the newly-appointed Justice Department chief when they met Friday morning during the turnover ceremony at the Department of Justice (DOJ) main office in Manila.

“We asked the advice of Secretary De Lima who said that we should stay on hold over capacity until July 31 unless there would be a new commissioner or associate commissioners appointed. Until such time there is a turn over,” he said.

De Lima noted that had the officials vacated their posts last June 30, the inauguration of President Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino III to office, they might be accused of dereliction of duty.

Libanan said that even though his services have been extended, he opted to start packing his bags and permanently remove some of the decorations and plaques in his office.

Asked what he planned to do when the Aquino administration appoints a new BI chief, he said he would return to private law practice. (FP/Sunnex)