By: Roy Bersales
JUSTICE Vitaliano Aguirre II was extremely mad and disappointed with the P50 Million cash that circulated among top officials of the Bureau of Immigration (BI).
However, Aguirre saved Deputy Commissioners Al Argosino and Michael Robles despite of their public admission that they got P48 Million from Jack Lam.
Aguirre instead sacked BI chief intelligence officer Charles Calima Jr. and technical assistant for intelligence Edward Chan.
Argosino and Robles took a leave of absence, while the scandal is still hot.
Argosino and Robles are said be among the top officials of the BI appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte.
BI is one of the agencies of the Department of Justice (DOJ).
It can be remembered that Argosino admitted to the media that he and Robles accepted the P48 Million from Lam’s pointman, retired police Chief Supt. Wally Sombero.
But Argosino stressed that their acceptance of P48 Million was part of an investigation that his group is conducting against Calima and Chan.
Argosino said the total cash money supposedly came from Lam was P50 Million.
The P48 Million were given to him and to Robles, while the P18 Million went to Calima, and the P2 Million went to Sombero.
The P50 Million was reportedly a pay-off of Lam to Argosino and Robles in exchange of the freedom of 600 out of 1,316 Chinese nationals who were arrested by BI police operatives in November after they were found to have been illegally working at the Fontana Leisure Parks and Casino in Clark, Pampanga.
Argosino strongly denied that he and Robles accepted the P48 Million as if they extorted it from Lam.
Argosino and Robles have lodged complaints of corruption of public officials and violation of anti-wiretapping law against Lam, Sombero, Calima, and Lam’s two Chinese interpreters before the Parañaque City Prosecutor’s Office.
The complaint noted that Calima took P18 Million from the P48 Million supposedly to be shared to Sombero, Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente, Chan, and newspaper columnist Ramon Tulfo.
Tulfo exposed the extortion scandal in his column in a broadsheet newspaper on December 10.
Tulfo denied he got a share from the P50 Million.