Leila de Lima: Chris Brown could have left Manila sooner
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED)– Justice Secretary Leila De Lima spoke about Chris Brown's situation, saying that he could leave if he could secure an Emigration Clearance Certificate (ECC), downloadable from the Bureau of Immigration (BI) website.
On July 24, BI spokeswoman Elaine Tan said in an interview with DZMM that Brown has already filed for an ECC. "Nung nagfile po siya ng ECC wala namang other derogatory records na nasa BI or na sa knowledge ng BI po kaya rest easy po tayo," she said. (When he filed for an ECC, there were no other derogatory records with the BI or in the knowledge of BI, so we can rest easy.) Tan did not give any information on the fraud allegations, as she said that the case is out of the BI's jurisdiction.
In an ambush interview on Thursday, July 23, De Lima stressed that a lookout bulletin order (LBO) "cannot prevent anyone from leaving." Brown, was issued an LBO on July 22, the day he planned to fly out of Manila.
This, after the DOJ received a letter from Maligaya Development Corporation (MDC), which accused Brown and his promoter, John Michael Pio Roda, of estafa. Brown was supposed to hold a concert at the Philippine Arena on December 31, 2014, but canceled, claiming he had lost his passport. MDC, which manages the area where the Philippine Arena is located, alleged that Brown and Roda were paid, but have not returned the money.
Brown was in Manila on July 21 for a concert at the Mall of Asia Arena. He has not left the country since, despite of upcoming dates on his world tour.
"An LBO is essentially a communication tool na kapag may mag-apply sa amin na gusto pa pigilan sino man na umalis, whether Filipino or alien, ay hindi ako makakapag-issue ng hold departure order (HDO) o watchlist order (WLO) dahil wala sa akin ngayon ang kapangyarihan na iyan," Sec. de Lima told reporters in an ambush interview.
(An LBO is essentially a communication tool, that when someone applies for it with us, asking us to stop someone from leaving, whether Filipino or alien, because I wouldn't be able to issue a hold departure order or a watchlist order, I just don't have that power.)
"He has to coordinate with the BI because the BI commission has the authority to either grant or deny the ECC... I understand ... BI Commissioner Siegfred Mison [has] already sent repeated notices to the camp of Mr. Chris Brown – doon sa (regarding the) need for him to apply for ECC," she added.
Brown has been in Manila for 4 days since his concert on July 21. He tweeted early on July 24 that he is innocent of MDC's accusations, but the tweets have since been made unavailable. – Rappler.com