DFA confirms Azurin held by Canadian immigration

File photo
File photo

THE Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) confirmed on Wednesday, September 27, 2023, that former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief General Rodolfo Azurin Jr. was intercepted at Langley Airport in Canada.

During the plenary deliberation, Nueva Ecija Representative Joseph Violago, who sponsored the 2024 proposed budget of the DFA, said Azurin chose to voluntarily return home after an apparent misunderstanding with Canadian immigration authorities.

He said the Canadian government has committed to look into the matter and forward details about the incident to the Philippine Embassy in Ottawa.

House Minority Leader Marcelino Libanan inquired about the matter amid reports that Azurin was deported from Canada.

In a statement, Azurin accused PNP deputy chief for administration Lieutenant General Rhodel Sermonia of spreading lies about him being deported.

“Maybe he knows something that everyone in our country do not know. Maybe, it was him who tipped the Canadian Immigration by concocting half-truths and many lies and had been hoping that I will be deported. He had been sending messages about my deportation… sorry hindi po ganun nangyari,” Azurin said in a message to reporters.

“All indicators are very revealing that Sermonia has something to do with what happen… all footprints are leading to him,” he added.

He said he will issue his statement about the matter in due time.

In an interview with reporters in Camp Crame on Wednesday, Sermonia denied the allegations, noting that there is no reason for him to do so as aside from being classmates in the Philippine Military Academy (PMA), they were also family.

Sermonia and Azurin’s wives are sisters.

Sermonia said he was too busy with his duties and responsibilities as a public servant.

“I'd rather not dignify the accusations with a reply that may be construed negatively. My advice is to directly ask the Canadian Embassy what the reason for the questioning was which made retired PNP Chief General Rodolfo Azurin, Jr. decide to just return to the country as he stated, and not deported,” Sermonia said.

“Canada has its own rules and regulations on border control. So, it is best to secure the report from them. The truth will speak for me,” he added.

Sermonia said he is saddened by the allegations hurled against him as he maintained that he was on good terms with Azurin.

He said he is also planning to talk to Azurin to clarify issues. (SunStar Philippines)


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