Aguirre: I did not allow Sombero to leave PH
MANILA — Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II has denied giving gaming tycoon Jack Lam’s alleged bagman Wally Sombero the green light to leave the country.
Aguirre pointed out that he did not sign an “allow departure order” (ADO) for Sombero as claimed by some media reports unlike in the case of Sen. Leila de Lima whom he gave an ADO after she asked permission to attend an awards ceremony in the United States.
“In Sombero’s case, I did not sign any ADO. So, he should have been stopped by the immigration officer. Why he wasn’t stopped by the immigration officer, that is not the fault of the justice secretary,” said Aguirre.
While he had ordered the Bureau of Immigration (BI) to place Sombero and De Lima on the immigration lookout bulletin order (ILBO), the immigration officers were responsible for implementing it and stopping illegal departures, such as what Sombero did when he left the National Bureau of Investigation’s detention center and flew out of the country on Jan. 17.
The BI officials were alerted of Sombero’s departure only two hours after he was cleared by an immigration official, who reasoned that Sombero had his real first name, Wenceslao, on his passport, not Wally.
His flight was the reason Sombero failed to attend the three Senate blue ribbon committee hearings on the Lam bribery scandal. SFM
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