MANILA (Mabuhay) – “Less than 10” of the more than 50 individuals criminally charged before the Sandiganbayan over the alleged P10-billion pork barrel scam might have already left the country, Immigration Commissioner Siegfred Mison said Thursday.
Mison made the revelation after emerging from a meeting with Justice Secretary Leila de Lima in Manila.
The Immigration chief, however, said his office is still verifying the names of those who might have already left, especially those with common names.
He said the Bureau of Immigration would be asking the Sandiganbayan for more details on the accused individuals, including their full names – middle names included – and dates of birth to determine if the people on their records to have left where the same ones who had been indicted.
On Wednesday, De Lima said she had already directed the Bureau of Immigration to be on the lookout for pork barrel fund scam suspects who would be attempting to flee.
De Lima said that even if arrest warrants have not yet been issued by the anti-graft court, the plunder and graft suspects can still be restrained from leaving the country through the hold departure orders that the Sandiganbayan had issued.
Covered by the HDOs were Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile, Senators Jinggoy Estrada and Ramon Bong Revilla Jr., their co-accused alleged scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles, as well as around 50 other co-accused. (MNS)