MANILA — Authorities are developing an e-warrants system that will immediately inform Immigration personnel of any conviction or pending charges against any individual without need for requests filed in court, Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla said on Friday.
“The e-warrants that we’re now designing for the whole country, is being vetted by the Supreme Court, will directly give the information of any conviction, charging or conviction for the e-warrant section to Immigration,” he told reporters.
“This would be automatic already, no request needed. It just happens as a matter of course,” he added.
Remulla made the statement in the context of the issuance of a hold departure order by a Muntinlupa court against former Bureau of Corrections chief Gerald Bantag and his deputy Ricardo Zulueta.
Bantag and Zulueta are facing murder charges over the killings of radio commentator Percival “Percy Lapid” Mabasa and alleged middleman Jun Villamor in October last year.
Bantag previously denied any role in the killings.
Under the current setup, prosecutors will have to apply in court for the issuance of a hold departure order, which will serve as an instruction to the Immigration bureau to prevent a person facing a pending criminal case from leaving the country.
Remulla said the new system will do away with the need for any request.
He did not say when the new e-warrant system will be put in place.
Meanwhile, Remulla said there were no updates on surrender feelers supposedly coming from Bantag’s camp.
“I was in conference with the NBI. They just briefed me and they will start pursuing it, I suppose, because there has been no follow-up regarding the supposed surrender of Mr. Bantag,” he said.