Napoles' brother tried to leave Philippines twice

Posted at 08/16/2013 1:51 AM | Updated as of 08/16/2013 1:51 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The brother of businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles who evaded arrest along with her on Wednesday had allegedly tried but failed to leave the country twice on the same day early this month, an official of the Bureau of Immigration (BI) said Thursday.

BI-Immigration Regulation Division chief Danilo Almeda said that Reynald Luy Lim allegedly tried to leave the country twice on Aug. 2, but was thwarted in his attempts by alert immigration officers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 1 who recognized him from the Lookout Bulletin Order (LBO) issued by the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Almeda said Lim tried unsuccessfully to leave the country on Asiana Airlines flight OZ 706 bound for Busan, South Korea on Aug. 2 at 10:19 a.m.

Later that day, Lim allegedly made a second try to fly to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Malaysia Airlines flight MH 705.

On both occasions, Lim was reportedly denied departure because he failed to secure clearance from the DOJ.

Almeda explained that on that day, there was still no hold departure order (HDO) or warrant of arrest against Lim and that what was in effect was an LBO.

A person placed under an LBO is not allowed to board a plane unless he or she secures a clearance from the DOJ.

“It is called a Lookout Bulletin because you have a pending court case. You have to clear it first with the DOJ prior to departure,” he said.

Last Wednesday, a Makati City regional trial court judge issued warrants of arrest against the siblings in connection with serious illegal detention case filed by Benhur Luy, the principal whistle-blower in the alleged P10-billion pork barrel scam.

BI officials also said that as of early yesterday afternoon, they had no information of departure of Napoles or her brother.

“We have been on alert for these two a few weeks now, even before a warrant of arrest was issued against them. I have long disseminated the information to our seaports all over the country,” Almeda said.

He said immigration officers are under orders to call him or BI officer-in-charge Commissioner Seigfred Mison if the two or either of them make another attempt to leave the country.

With arrest warrants in effect, Napoles and Lim may be arrested on sight and turned over to the National Bureau of Investigation, he said.

Meanwhile, the Manila Prosecutor’s Office will start its preliminary investigation into the perjury case filed by Napoles against whistle-blowers Luy and Merlina Suñas, and Luy’s parents Gertrude and Arturo, and brother Arthur.

City prosecutor Philger Noel Inovejas set the hearings on Aug. 28 and Sept. 4. – With Aie Balagtas See