MANILA — Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Leila de Lima on Wednesday clarified that there is no legal impediment for Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Ramon Revilla Jr. to travel abroad.
“Yes your honor, very safe for you to travel anytime. There’s no HDO (hold departure order) yet from the Sandiganbayan and there’s no warrant of arrest yet, there’s no legal impediment,” De Lima told Estrada during the Commission on Appointments (CA) committee on justice and judicial bar council deliberation on the DOJ’s chief appointment.
The three senators have been charged with plunder and graft and corruption by the Office of the Ombudsman in the Sandiganbayan.
Estrada demanded the clarification amid the imminent issuance of warrant of arrest by the Sandiganbayan against the three senators implicated in the alleged misuse of P10 billion priority development assistance fund (PDAF).
“Are the three senators on a watch list order?” Estrada asked De Lima.
“No your honor, I have not issued any watch list order against the three senators” De Lima answered.
Estrada, however, assured De Lima that has no plan to leave the country.
De Lima answered “Thank You” and later received congratulations from Estrada after the CA panel endorsed her confirmation at the plenary.
De Lima along with Secretaries Dinky Soliman of Social Welfare and Development and Ramon Paje of Environment and Natural Resources and Commissioners Heide Mendoza and Jose Fabia of Commission on Audit (COA) got the nod of the CA at the plenary.