The Department of Justice (DOJ) has issued an Immigration Lookout Bulletin Order (ILBO) against five police generals earlier identified by President Rodrigo Duterte as those allegedly have links to illegal drug trade.
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said the ILBO was issued against Police Director Joel Pagdilao, Chief Supt. Edgardo Tinio, Chief Supt. Bernardo Diaz, retired Chief Supt. Vicente Loot and retired Deputy Dir. Gen. Marcelo Garbo.
“In light of the foregoing, the following directives are hereby issued for the Commissioner of the Bureau of Immigration to instruct all Immigration officers to be on the lookout/alert for the above-named individuals should they passed through the immigration counters in any of our international airports and seaports, including the request from those who are still government officials, for a copy of the authority to travel abroad granted by their respective offices or agencies,” the LBO said.
The DOJ chief also ordered the BI to coordinate with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and National Police Commission (Napolcom) regarding the subjects of this ILBO, “in order to facilitate its enforcement.”
Aguirre said the BI should be able to contact DILG and NAPOLCOM officials even outside officer hours in case any of the five attempts to leave the country.
“Promptly relay to the Office of the Secretary of this Department, any pertinent information, especially those tending to indicate that the subjects are attempting to leave the country, and other relevant information that may be the basis for the proper course of action to be taken by immigration officers,” it said.
An ILBO does not stop an individual from leaving the country since it is merely a notice to authorities that he is attempting to depart.
An ILBO directs all immigration officers in all ports of exit in the country to be on the alert for a subject’s departure.
The ILBO, however, will not empower immigration officers to prevent the subject from leaving the country since the Supreme Court (SC) issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) on the DOJ’s authority to issue hold departure and watch list orders.
The DOJ issued the ILBO upon the request of Interior Secretary Ismael Sueno.
“We are hoping that this would be relayed to the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation (BID) soon and a watch list order be issued immediately so that we would know the destinations of these generals in the event that they would be leaving the country as well as their purpose in going abroad,” Sueno said in his letter dated Tuesday.
In his letter, Sueno cited the ongoing probe by the Napolcom against the five.
READ: Duterte names top cops allegedly involved in illegal drugs trade
“At this crucial time when the issue about their alleged involvement in the illegal drug trade is being investigated, we would actually prefer that these generals would not be able to leave the country,” the DILG chief added.
Under DOJ Circular No. 41, Section 2, the DOJ chief is empowered to issue a watch list order either motu proprio or upon his or her discretion or upon the request of any government agency in connection with any probe conducted in the interest of national security, public health and public safety.