By: Roy Bersales
JUSTICE Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II on Thursday appeared to be washing his hands by asserting that he did not save the commissioners of the Bureau of Immigration (BI) from the crime they allegedly committed.
Rather, Aguirre told the media that he in fact strongly recommended the sacking of BI Deputy Commissioners Al Argosino and Michael Robles to President Rodrigo Duterte.
He did not explain why he made such recommendation to Duterte.
What Aguirre has told the media that while the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is conducting a thorough investigation on the P50 Million pay-offs by Chinese online gambling operator Jack Lam to Argosino, Robles, BI chief intelligence officer Charles Calima Jr., and technical assistant for intelligence Edward Chan to facilitate the release of 600 Chinese nationals out of 1,350 who were arrested by BI operatives after they were found playing on illegal online gambling.
The stay of the Chinese nationals in the country were also discovered to be illegal due to absence of legal documents.
Duterte ordered the Philippine National Police (PNP) to arrest Lam because of bribery and economic sabotage charges.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) has not filed yet any case against Lam as of this posting.
The release of P50 Million were made through retired police Chief Supt. Wally Sombero.
Argosino dmitted to the media that he and Robles got P30 Million, while the P18 Million went to Calima, and the P2 Million went to Sombero as a commission.
Upon learning the scandal, Aguirre booted Calima and Chan out of the BI.
He did not sacked Argosino and Robles.
The two filed criminal charges against Calima, Chan, Sombero, and two Chinese interpreters.
Argosino, Robles, Calima, and Chan were all new in the BI.