SENATE Minority Leader Franklin Drilon yesterday asked the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to cancel immediately the passport of alleged “drug queen” Guia Gomez Castro, as she can be considered a fugitive from justice.
The former village chief of Barangay 484 Zone 48 in Manila was confirmed to have left the country last Sept. 21 on a Cebu Pacific flight for Bangkok, Thailand.
Drilon said that under Republic Act 8239 or the Philippine Passport Act, the foreign affairs secretary is authorized to cancel a passport “in the interest of national security” or when the holder of the passport is a fugitive from justice.
“It appears that Mrs. Castro does not intend to return to the country and face the warrants of arrest issued against her since 2002 for violation of Republic Act 6425 or the Dangerous Drugs Act. Hence, she is a fugitive from justice,” Drilon said.
The former justice secretary explained that well-settled jurisprudence defines fugitive from justice as a person, who, having committed a crime, flees from jurisdiction of the court where crime was committed, departs from his usual place of abode and conceals himself and is found within another territory.
Drilon said that based on jurisprudece, conviction is not a requirement to consider a person a fugitive from justice, saying that filing of charges prior to flight is not always an antecedent requirement to label one a “fugitive from justice”.
“The jurisprudence clarifies that mere commission of a crime and subsequent flight thereto sufficiently meets the definition of a fugitive,” Drilon said.
“Hence, the DFA, to avoid miscarriage of justice and by virtue of the Philippine Passport Act, can validly and lawfully cancel her passport so we can restrict Castro’s movement, and summon her back to the country to face charges against her,” he said.