BI chief won't resign over Reyes brods escape

Posted at 09/04/12 2:40 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Immigration Commissioner Ricardo David denied reports that he will resign following the alleged escape from the country of former Palawan governor Joel Reyes and his brother, Coron Mayor Mario Reyes, via the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in March with the help of 2 immigration officers.

Speaking at the 72nd anniversary of the Bureau of Immigration (BI), David said only President Aquino and Justice Secretary Leila De Lima can order him to resign. The BI is an attached agency of the Department of Justice (DOJ).

"In my 38 years in the military service, I know very well that command responsibility does not apply to me in this case," he said.

Text messages from anonymous sources were sent to media men over the weekend alleging that David had resigned.

Immigration officers Wesley Gutierrez and Rodel Udarbe, identified as those who reportedly escorted the Reyes brothers, had been relieved of duty and are now being investigated for possible criminal and administrative liability.

Joel Reyes allegedly used a passport under the name Joseph Lim Pe in boarding a flight bound for Vietnam.

The Reyes brothers are facing charges of murder for the shooting of environmentalist and broadcaster Dr. Gerry Ortega in Puerto Princesa, Palawan in January 2011.