MANILA – Two respondents in the pork barrel cases are no longer in the Philippines, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) confirmed.
BI spokesperson Elaine Tan said as of June 19, only two respondents – Antonio Ortiz and Renato Ornopia - have been confirmed to have left the country prior to the issuance of a hold departure order (HDO).
The BI, however, said this report is not yet final ''since the agency is still triple-checking its system to be able to fully determine whether or not the named respondent in the HDO is really the person stated in the agency's records."
"As the names itself are not sufficient to fully identify the person being checked, only half of the records have been determined to refer to the accused with certainty", Tan said.
Tan said the verification process has been made difficult by the absence of date of birth and middle name in the HDO. There are also cases where the name provided in the HDO does not match the name indicated in a respondent's passport.
"This may be the reason why some of the accused have zero travel records,'' Tan said.
Tan said of the 23 respondents who have been identified, 21 are still in the country, including Senator Jinggoy Estrada, Senator Ramon ''Bong'' Revilla Jr., Senator Juan Ponce Enrile, businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles and her children Jo Christine and James Christopher, former Technology and Resource Center director general Dennis Cunanan, and Budget undersecretary Mario Relampagos.