MANILA - The Bureau of Immigration (BI) is now on full alert against the possible exit of those accused in the pork barrel scam after the Sandiganbayan issued a hold departure order against them last week.
Two of the suspects, Technology Resource Center director general Antonio Ortiz and Renato Ornopia, were confirmed by the BI to have quietly slipped out of the country even before the Sandiganbayan released a hold departure order (HDO).
Ortiz is currently charged with 3 counts of graft, while Ornopia, whom earlier reports identified as an employee of JLN Co. and president of Kaupdan Para sa Mangunguma Foundation Inc., is charged with one count of graft at the Sandiganbayan.
BI spokesperson Elaine Tan said that they have yet to check the status of at least 30 more names included in the HDO.
She said the bureau is still asking the Sandiganbayan for more information such as dates of birth, complete names, ages and other information of the accused to avoid errors since some of the accused have common names.
They are also asking the help of the Department of Foreign Affairs to check whether the names on the HDO are the same names on the passports of the suspects.
Tan mentioned the case of Sen. Jinggoy Estrada, whose name written on the order is Jose, while his passport uses Jinggoy.