Immigration spokesperson says sorry to de Lima

Posted at 03/06/14 9:32 PM

MANILA (UPDATED) -- Bureau of Immigration (BI) spokesperson Maria Angelica Pedro on Thursday apologized to Department of Justice (DOJ) Sec. Leila de Lima for revealing Ruby Tuason's whereabouts.

De Lima got mad at Pedro on Wednesday after the latter confirmed to media that Tuason, who has provisional Witness Protection Program (WPP) coverage, left for Hong Kong on Sunday night via a Cathay Pacific flight, and booked a flight back to the Philippines on April 5.

Pedro said Tuason left the country for Hong Kong last March 2.

The justice secretary said that she will ask Pedro and BI to explain regarding the incident.

The justice chief stressed that the WPP Law prohibits the publicizing of the movements and whereabouts of WPP witnesses, in consideration of their safety.

Tuason's lawyer, Dennis Manalo, also confirmed Tuason's travel, adding that Tuason was actually bound for the United States to make arrangements for the financing of the P40 million she offered to return to government.

The amount supposedly represents the commissions she got for brokering the deal between alleged "pork" scam architect Janet Lim Napoles and the camps of Senators Juan Ponce Enrile and Jinggoy Estrada, who allotted portions of their Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) to Napoles foundations and NGOs. - with reports from Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News; Ricky Velasco, dzMM