Justice department issues lookout order vs Felonia

THE Department of Justice (DOJ) has issued a lookout bulletin order against the former Regional Intelligence Unit (RIU11) director Senior Supt. Leonardo Felonia accused in the June 12 murder case of Cebu–based businessman Richard Lim King.

Speaking at the AFP–PNP press conference at Royal Mandaya Hotel on Wednesday, Senior Supt. Camilo Cascolan, chief of staff of the Police Regional Office (PRO) 11, said the order has been issued by DOJ Secretary Leila de Lima against the accused dated July 23, 2014.

Cascolan said it was issued against Felonia in response to the request letter of the PRO in Davao Region dated on June 30.

In a memorandum of the bureau, Cascolan said de Lima has instructed the Bureau of Immigration (BI) to be also on alert for Felonia on the event that he should pass through immigration counters in any ports in the country.

The purpose of the lookout bulletin order is to monitor an individual and not necessarily restrict him/her from leaving the country while a hold departure order is needed to prevent an individual from flying out the country, which the police said only the court can issue.

"It means to say that if he (Felonia) has any attempt to go out the country; appropriate course of action will be taken by the BI in coordination with the prosecutor and DOJ secretary Leila de Lima. The progress of the case will be also relayed to the DOJ," Cascolan said.

PRO 11 deputy director for Operations Senior Superintendent Aaron Aquino earlier said that the lookout bulletin order is important for them to closely monitor Felonia who is now under the restrictive custody of the Regional Intelligence Unit in Camp Crame.

Aquino also said that PRO 11 is always coordinating with former Davao City Police Office (DCPO) director Senior Superintendent Ronald dela Rosa, who is now the deputy chief for the Operations of the PNP's Intelligence Group, to ensure that Felonia is being watched 24 hours.

Lawyer Caesar Europa, legal counsel of the accused, on the other hand, assured that his client would not leave the country. He said: “It [The lookout bulletin order] doesn’t really matter because he [Felonia] has no plan of leaving the country contrary to the rumors being spread.”

Felonia was ordered relieved last month by Police Intelligence Group (IG) director Diosdado Ramos after the accused was placed under investigation at the National Bureau of Immigration (NBI) in Davao Region in the murder case of the businessman.

Cascolan said while the three other suspects are currently detained, the Special Investigation Task Group is still conducting investigation on the case, and closely monitoring persons of interest, of which two are women, another police officer and a retired policeman, who might be the real brains in the murder case.

"The investigation is being conducted thoroughly. It is very hard on our part also to just point somebody. While the investigation is ongoing, the progress of the case must be relayed to DOJ so that they will also know what necessary actions should be done," Cascolan said.

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