Naging tipid ang Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) sa pagpapaliwanag ng desisyon nito na kanselahin ang bisa ng diplomatic passports ng mga dating kalihim at matataas na opisyal ng kagawaran.

Ayon kay DFA Assistant Sec. Emmanuel Fernandez inihahanda na ng ahensya ang ilalabas nitong kautusan kaugnay ng kanselasyon sa naturang pasaporte.

Bukod dito, aatasan din daw nila ang mga may hawak ng diplomatic passports na i-surrender ito sa DFA.

Ani Fernandez, panahon na para ihinto ang pagbibigay ng diplomatic passports sa mga dating Foreign Affairs secretary at ambassador.

“The DFA Office of Consular Affairs (OCA) will be issuing an order shortly, cancelling all courtesy diplomatic passports, and requiring their surrender for physical cancellation.”

“The practice of issuing courtesy diplomatic passports to former DFA Secretaries and ambassadors shall henceforth be discontinued.”

Kung maaalala, nadeport mula Hong Kong kahapon si former DFA Sec. Albert Del Rosario na dadalo sana sa isang pribadong business engagement.

Kaugnay nito, nais ng dating cabinet official na panagutin ang Immigration authorities na hindi raw kinilala ang kanyang diplomatic passport.

“Of course I will be consulting the Ombudswoman because we work as a team. I also received a suggestion from the DFA of protesting the failure of the Hong Kong authorities to respect the diplomatic passport. This would be a violation of the Vienna Convention,” ani Del Rosario sa isang pahayag nitong Biyernes.

Nauna ng kinuwestyon ng ilang mambabatas ang hakbang ni Del Rosario dahil taliwas daw ito sa mandatong bisa ng ispesyal na pasaporte.

“Kapag retired official ka ba pwedeng naka-diplomatic passport ka pa rin? Kapag ako ‘di na ako senador pwede ko pa ba gamitin ‘yung diplomatic passport ko?,” ani Sotto.

“Kaya ko ito nasasabi… I am not saying it is wrong, I am asking why, because in my case, I am a senator, I have never used my diplomatic passport going abroad unless it is with the President or on official business by the inter parliamentary union.”

Taong 1993 nang simulan ng DFA ang pagi-issue ng diplomatic passports sa mga dati nitong kalihim at foreign relations official.

“Since the issuance of the 1993 Department Order, diplomatic passports have been issued to former DFA secretaries as well as ambassadors as a matter of courtesy, not to confer them with diplomatic immunity under the Vienna Convention, but only to accord them the usual port courtesies at immigration points abroad,” ayon sa statement ng DFA.