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Frank Baraan: My father is not running away

Former Justice Under Secretary Fransisco Baraan III is not running away, according his eldest son Frank Baraan. Philstar.com/File photo

MANILA, Philippines --- Francis "Frank" Baraan IV said in an official statement that his father, former Justice Undersecretary Fransisco Baraan III, is not running away from anything after he was mentioned in the drug matrix presented to the public by President Rodrigo Duterte.

"Rest assured, he isn't running away from anything, or avoiding any possible prosecution," Frank said in a statement released on social media.

The former Justice undersecretary was sent a summons to appear at the House of Representatives for a hearing on the proliferation of illegal drugs at the New Bilibid Prison on Thursday. Also summoned was Ronnie Dayan, the driver of Sen. Leila De Lima when she was secretary of Justice.

Both were absent on Thursday. The subpoenas issued to them also direct them to appear before the House Justice committee on Friday.

READ: House summons Leila driver, ex-DOJ official | Dayan a no-show at House probe despite subpoena

Frank said that his father left the country on August 25, 2016 for health and medical reasons before the president even tagged him in the so-called drug matrix.

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"Leaving the country is not a crime--not if you're not a fugitive of the law, or a person of interest," Frank said.

Frank said his father did not know that there would be a House probe and that he would summoned to attend. He said his father did not even know that his name would be included in the drug matrix, which had yet to be released when he left.

The former undersecretary has denied involvement in the illegal drug trade but has since refused to comment on any of the allegations or issues raised against him in public.

"He has asked me to speak in his behalf regarding this particular matter," Frank said.

Frank said that his father would face all allegations and issues against him in a court of law and not in a court of "trial by publicity",  if and when somebody actually files formal complaints against him.

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