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DFA: Jolo Estrada’s diplomatic passport cannot be used for non-official travels

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Thursday confirmed that Jolo Estrada, son of detained senator Jinggoy Estrada, was issued a diplomatic passport, but clarified that he can not use it for non-official travels.

Photos of the younger Estrada’s supposed luxurious lifestyle surfaced on social media a day after his father, who is facing graft and plunder charges in connection with the alleged P10-billion pork barrel scam, surrendered to authorities.

Citing the department’s regulations, DFA spokesman Charles Jose said a diplomatic passport can be extended to the spouses and unmarried minor children of principals or government officials who are entitled to such travel document.

“Pursuant to that regulation, the son of Sen. Jinggoy Estrada was issued a diplomatic passport because he was 18 years old by the time he was given that passport but now he is already 21,” Jose said.

Jose said 18 years old is still considered a minor under the Philippine Family code..

However, he explained that the passport is valid only on a per travel basis and that spouses and minor children can not use it if they are not accompanied by their principal.

It is also not valid for use if not revalidated by the DFA, Jose said.

“For it to be revalidated the requesting office should submit a travel order approved by their principal,” Jose said. “If not revalidated, he or she will not be allowed by the Bureau of Immigration to travel.”

A diplomatic passport is usually issued with a validity of either three or five years, Jose said.

“But every time you want to use it, you need to have it revalidated by the DFA for every travel,” Jose said, adding it is likely that Jolo was also issued a regular passport. —KBK, GMA News