MANILA - Justice Secretary Leila De Lima hailed the finding of probable cause by the Sandiganbayan Fifth Division and the subsequent issuance of a warrant of arrest against Sen. Jinggoy Estrada, an accused in the plunder and graft cases in connection with the multi-billion peso pork barrel scam.
De Lima said the Department of Justice (DOJ) and its attached agency National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) expected the move since the case against Estrada is strong.
"Inaasahan naman natin yan... hindi naman namin yan isasangguni sa Ombudsman kung hindi malakas ang batayan," De Lima said.
The Bureau of Immigration (BI) is also bent on seeing to it that all those accused with hold departure orders (HDOs) from the anti-graft court cannot flee the country so that they may be brought to justice.
This, after it was verified that accused Antonio Ortiz and Renato Ornopia left the country even before the charges against them were filed with the Office of the Ombudsman.
De Lima said any person believed to be the subject of the HDO should be held by immigration officers in any point of exit.