MANILA (UPDATED) - The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has confirmed that Jose Luis "Jolo" Ejercito, son of Senator Jose "Jinggoy" Estrada, has been issued a diplomatic passport.
DFA spokesman Charles Jose said according to DFA regulations, spouses and unmarried minor children are entitled to diplomatic passports of those principals who are entitled to diplomatic passports.
"So their spouses and unmarried minor children who will accompany them on official travel are entitled. Only official travel. So pursuant to that regulation, the son of Sen. Jinggoy Estrada was issued a diplomatic passport because he was 18 years old at the time when he was given one and now he's already 21," he said.
Jose said Estrada's son can't use the diplomatic passport for unofficial or personal travel.
"Hindi travel on his own. It should be official travel and travel with the principal. Official mission dapat and kasama yung principal," he said.
"This is how the diplomatic passports and official passports work. Valid siya on a per travel basis. So it will not be valid for use kung hindi sya revalidated by the DFA. For it to be revalidated, the requesting office for example should submit a travel order approved by their principal. So kung hindi revalidated, hindi papayagan ng immigration na makalabas regardless kung valid sya sa year," he added.
The issue of Ejercito's diplomatic passport was the subject of a viral blog post that came out after the senator's surrender and subsequent detention at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center.
The blog said Jolo Ejercito can no longer be issued a diplomatic passport because he is no longer a minor.