Ex-BI officials charged for deporting convict

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Three former commissioners of the Bureau of Immigration (BI) are in legal trouble over the escape of a suspected terrorist in 2005 after the Office of the Ombudsman found ground to file a case against them at the Sandiganbayan.

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Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales found probable cause to charge former BI commissioners Teodoro Delarmente, Roy Almoro and Jose Cabochan for graft.

The case stemmed from “irregularities in the issuance of medical passes and Summary Deportation Order (SDO) in favor of Vo Van Duc, a suspected terrorist convicted of unlawful manufacture and possession of explosives.”

Morales also ordered the filing of graft charges against former acting chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Civil Security Unit Wendy Rosario, former BI chief of staff Alejandro Fernandez, former acting warden Noel Espinosa, former legal aide Richard Perez, former security escort Francis Agana and former confidential agent Joselito Pagaduan.

The Office of the Ombudsman found that Delarmente, Rosario, Espinosa and Agana were responsible for the issuance of medical passes on several dates in 2005 to Duc even without the recommendation of the BI physician. They were also responsible for letting him have temporary liberty for three weeks, the office said.

“All these respondents, conspiring with Delarmente, acted with manifest partiality and evident bad faith in giving Van Duc unwarranted benefit,” the Ombudsman said.

The agency added that Delarmente, Almoro, Cabochan, Fernandez and Perez “violated the rules in summary deportation proceedings when the SDO was issued based on an outdated 4-year old charge sheet and without the conduct of any semblance of a hearing by the commissioners, which facilitated Van Duc’s escape from the country.”

According to the Resolution, the SDO was flawed from the start because it did not go through the proper procedure under the BI rules.

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