BI confirms 3 more respondents in 'pork' case already out of the country

Three respondents in the pork barrel scam case have left the country even before the plunder and malversation complaint was filed against them with the Office of the Ombudsman last Monday.

At least one of them, Dennis Cunanan, director general of the Technology Resource Center (TRC), has vowed to return to the country to face the charges.

The others who have already left the country were Mylene Encarnacion, president of the Countrywide Agri and Rural Economic and Development Foundation Inc., and Ruby Tuason, a representative of Senators Juan Ponce Enrile and Jinggoy Estrada, who were also implicated in the alleged scam.

Immigration spokesperson Maria Angelica Pedro told GMA News Online that the three left the country before the complaint was filed and a lookout bulletin order was issued against them. She refused to reveal their destinations.

She said Cunanan left the country "fairly recently" in September, while Tuason flew abroad last month. Encarnacion, she added, has been out of the country since 2008.

TRC is a government-owned and -controlled corporation that is said to be a conduit of pork barrel funds to bogus non-government organizations (NGOs), while Encarnacion was alleged to be the head of a questionable NGO linked to detained businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles, the alleged mastermind in the scam.

Tuason, a former social secretary of former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, was believed to be Napoles’ link to the offices of Enrile and Estrada.

Aside from Enrile and Estrada, who both have denied involvement in the scam, Sen. Ramon Bong Revilla Jr. was also named respondent in the case.

Meanwhile, a certain Richard Cambe left the country in 2012, Pedro said, but they have to yet confirm if the person refers to Revilla's chief political adviser mentioned in the complaint. She said they have yet to match the date of birth for confirmation.

The Bureau of Immigration has earlier confirmed that Enrile's former chief of staff, Jessica Lucila "Gigi" Reyes, another respondent in the case, has also left the country. — KBK, GMA News

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