MANILA - The camp of Chinese gambling operator Jack Lam on Sunday refused to discuss an order for his arrest from President Rodrigo Duterte.
Lam's legal counsel, Raymund Fortun, told ABS-CBN News he cannot comment yet on Duterte's order for the arrest of the businessman for allegedly attempting to bribe government officials to release over 1,000 Chinese workers who were illegally working in his online gaming office in Pampanga.
Citing lawyer-client privilege, Fortun also declined to confirm if Lam was still in the country.
Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa said Saturday that the President has ordered the arrest of Lam over bribery and economic sabotage member.
Duterte, however, has no orders yet regarding former police official Wally Sombero who acted as Lam's interpreter when he allegedly tried to bribe Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre III and Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation chief Andrea Domingo.
And although an official arrest warrant and hold departure order have yet to be released against Lam and Sombero, police officials will still proceed with the arrest as it is the chief executive's command, Dela Rosa said.
Meanwhile, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said there is no need to issue an arrest warrant since Lam’s case is that of a “continuing crime.”
He added that such a warrantless arrest would be legal, citing the case of former President and now House Deputy Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as an example.
Aguirre added that a possible bribery case may soon be filed against Lam since a witness is already willing to testify.
Lam's camp has denied the bribery allegations.