MANILA, Philippines – A former Abra congresswoman is accusing the United States Embassy of aiding her former son-in-law leave for the US after taking his daughter.
Former Abra Rep. Cecilia Luna said American Anthony Ricks and his daughter flew to the US on the evening of August 28 after seeking refuge in the US Embassy.
Earlier that day, the daughter was forcibly taken by Anthony in front of her school inside a subdivision in Quezon City.
The Bureau of Immigration (BI) confirmed that the father and daughter flew to Los Angeles, California via Philippine Airlines flight PR102 Tuesday night.
BI Acting Intelligence Chief Antonette Mangrobang said the two were not prevented from leaving the country since "there is no hold departure order or any derogatory record against Mr. Ricks."
Ricks' daughter is Cecilia's granddaughter with Rochelle, who is currently in London for her studies.
According to Cecilia, Rochelle separated from Anthony due to the latter's violent behavior. Anthony was once sent to jail in the US after being convicted of domestic violence.
Cecilia admitted that Anthony was granted custody of his daughter in the US. However, she noted that Anthony allowed them to bring the child here in the Philippines. Cecilia has since secured from a local court a guardian status for her granddaughter.
Filipino-American Guillermo Garcia was the only person arrested during the abduction last Tuesday.
Garcia is now free. Cecilia claimed the US Embassy helped Garcia by pressuring the prosecutors to drop the charges against the Filipino-American.
Garcia allegedly drove the first car that Anthony and his daughter boarded inside the subdivision where the school was located. The two then transferred to another vehicle to elude authorities.
Anthony was allegedly accompanied by two other Americans during the abduction.
In a closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera at the airport, Anthony was caught talking to an American, who was later identified as Charles David Wise. – with reports from Alex Santos, ABS-CBN News; and dzMM