MANILA – While he faces cancellation of passport by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Sen. Jinggoy Estrada is set to fly to the United States with his wife, Precy, to seek medical attention, according to the senator.
Jinggoy revealed that they scheduled a trip to America to consult a specialist and seek a second opinion regarding a lump in his wife’s breast.
Speaking on a radio interview over DWIZ last Saturday, Estrada disclosed his plan, “I have a scheduled trip to the United States next week because I will seek a second opinion on the medical condition of my wife.”
The senator, however, is confident that the recent move by the government to request cancellation of his and other colleagues’ passport in connection with the on-going Ombudsman investigation in the pork barrel scandal will not affect their travel plans.
He refused to divulge the exact date and other details of their US trip, but promised to be back by November 17, before the Senate resumes its session.
Estrada also explained that it is not necessary to get a travel clearance from the Ombudsman or the Department of Justice at this time even if the request for cancellation is under deliberation, “No more. There’s still no case,” he said.
He further added that he is not planning to get a travel authority from the senate president, Sen. Franklin Drilon, since he will be using his personal passport.
Regarding the medical condition of his wife, Precy, the senator related that the lump was discovered ‘two weeks ago or so’ indicating that their scheduled trip was planned even before the passport cancellation issue was raised by the Department of Justice. According to Estrada, he might also hold a press conference before leaving.
Sen. Jinggoy Estrada is one of the three senators along with 34 others whose passports faces cancellation by DFA as requested by DOJ Sec. Leila de Lima a few days ago.
De Lima made the request ‘in the interest of national security’ citing Republic Act 8239 or the Philippine Passport Act of 1996, Section 4 which states that ‘in the interest of national security, pubic safety and public health, the Secretary or any of the authorized consular officers may, after due hearing and in their proper discretion, refuse to issue a passport, or restrict its use or withdraw or cancel a passport,” as its legal basis.