Immigration detains Binay's wife over HDO, delays Vatican trip

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The official delegation to the Vatican -- headed by Vice President Jejomar "Jojo" Binay -- was delayed for about 15 minutes when immigration authorities at the departure area of Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1 barred Mrs. Elenita Binay from leaving the country due to an existing hold departure order (HDO).


Vice President Jojo Binay with son Makati Mayor JunJun Binay as they walk through the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) to speak with immigration authorities. His wife, Elenita, was barred from boarding a Rome-bound airplane over a "hold departure order" issued by the Sandiganbayan.
Vice President Jojo Binay with son Makati Mayor JunJun Binay as they walk through the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) to speak with immigration authorities. His wife, Elenita, was barred from boarding a Rome-bound airplane over a "hold departure order" issued by the Sandiganbayan.


According to Raoul Esperas of ABS-CBN, the vice-president was visibly irked as he skipped the waiting media at the departure lounge to talk to immigration inspectors.

Accompanied by his son Makati Mayor Junjun Binay, Binay approached airport Senior Assistant General Manager Vicente Guerzon and asked: “Halika, samahan mo ako. Pakiusapan natin yung inspector.”

Binay explained to immigration officers that his entourage is the official delegation tasked by President Aquino to represent the Philippines in the inaugural Mass of Pope Francis.

Vice President Jojo Binay with wife, Elenita
File photo: Vice President Jojo Binay with wife, Elenita
The immigration officer, however, insisted they cannot bypass the electronic record appearing in the hold departure list of immigration. The vice-president was also briefed that only Immigration Commissioner Ricardo David has the authority to bypass the electronic record of the hold-departure list.

Binay contacted David who said only Justice Secretary Leila de Lima can clear any passenger with an existing HDO.

Ground personnel of Emirates Airlines tried to offload Binay and his entourage but the Makati Mayor insisted that they will push through with the flight. As a result, Emirates Flight EK337 was delayed for 13 minutes as the vice-president contacted the justice secretary about the problem with his wife’s HDO.

In the end, de Lima made a verbal instruction to immigration officers to allow Mrs. Binay to board the flight.

It was learned that the HDO was issued by the Sandiganbayan, arising from graft cases filed in 2006 when Mrs Binay was Makati mayor.





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