MANILA, Philippines - Murder suspect Ma. Ramona “Mara” Bautista spent only hours in Turkey and her current location is unknown, a National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) official said yesterday.
In a text message to reporters, NBI Foreign Liaison Division (FLD) chief Claro de Castro Jr. said this was based on the latest communication they received yesterday from the Interpol in Ankara, Turkey.
“Ramona is not in Turkey. She arrived in Turkey in the morning of Nov. 5, left in the afternoon. It is not yet known where she went. We will verify,” De Castro said in Filipino.
He also confirmed that no warrant for Ramona’s arrest has been issued in the Philippines so she cannot be placed in the Red Notice List of the Interpol, which has issued a Blue Notice against Ramona.
A Red Notice means a suspect can be arrested by any Interpol member country, while a Blue Notice limits a member country to monitoring a suspect’s movements. There are 190 Interpol member countries worldwide.
Based on the information provided to the NBI by their counterparts in Turkey, Ramona arrived at Istanbul’s Ataturk International Airport at 10:34 a.m. on Nov. 5, De Castro said.
Ramona immediately left Turkey at 4:51 p.m. of the same day, said De Castro.
Immigration records in the Philippines show Ramona left the country at 8:40 p.m. on Nov. 4 aboard Cathay Pacific Flight bound for Hong Kong, then proceeded to Istanbul with a connecting Turkish Airlines flight.
Interpol Ankara also confirmed Ramona is a resident of Pinartepe, Naalesi, Istanbul, Turkey. She is married to a Turkish national.
Ramona still remains a holder of Philippine passport XX1106480.
On the other hand, in an interview over radio station dzRH yesterday morning, NBI Director Magtanggol Gatdula said they will take over the case if the Philippine National Police makes such a request. But right now, they are supporting the PNP, particularly the Parañaque police, in their ongoing investigation, he said.
“Our investigators are always there to support the police. There is a parallel investigation. We are also moving and gathering information which we give to the police,” he said.
When asked if he is satisfied with the way the probe is being handled by the police, Gatdula said it is just proper to first gather all possible suspects, then use the process of elimination to get the most feasible and viable theory on the murder of actor Ram Revilla (real name Ramgen Bautista), Ramona’s eldest brother, and the frustrated murder of Ramgen’s girlfriend, actress Janelle Manahan.
De Castro earlier admitted it would be difficult for them to have Ramona extradited if she is in Turkey or in other countries with which the Philippines has not extradition treaty.
“We can simply make a request. We can also invoke the principle of reciprocity,” he said.
Gatdula had sent last Nov. 8 a formal request to verify and confirm the immigration status of Ramona and if she entered Turkey. The one-page letter was coursed through the Philippine Center for Transnational Crime executive director Felizardo Serapio. who then sent it to the Interpol
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