MANILA - Justice Secretary Leila de Lima on Thursday said the government may coordinate with the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) to monitor the whereabouts of persons linked to the pork barrel scam who have left the country.
De Lima conceded that at this point, the government cannot compel the people linked to the scandal to come back since there is no case before a court yet.
"At the moment, the most we can do is coordinate with counterparts (like the) Interpol. May Interpol division ang NBI, though strictly alam ko diyan dapat fugitive from justice but nothing can prevent cooperation between and among agencies like that na ipamonitor ang whereabouts ng mga subjects na iyan," she said.
"As to whether there's recourse to compel them to come back, I'm very sorry, no such recourse," she said.
De Lima said if these individuals do not come back, there are modes to pursue them like extradition and mutual legal assistance treaties with some countries but only after they have been convicted.
She pointed out that flight suggests guilt. "On the psychological side of things pag ganiyan nagsisi-alisan sila, 'di ba indication na may kasalanan sila?"
Gigi Reyes and Ruby Tuason, 2 of those tagged in the so-called pork barrel scam, have reportedly left the country.