By: Roy Bersales
PAY-OFFS to the officials of the Bureau of Immigration (BI) is reportedly remains rampant because no one was charged in court for that.
And despite public pronouncements of President Rodrigo Duterte to end corruption in the government under his term, pay-offs (a form of corruption) persists in BI.
Reportedly, this was the reason why the 1,200 Chinese nationals arrested by BI operatives in Fontana Leisure Park and Casino in Clark last month have been released from BI detention center despite absence of legal and proper documents.
Justice Sec. Vitaliano Aguirre II ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to investigate the pay-offs issue that resulted to the liberty of 1,200 Chinese nationals.
The Chinese nationals were arrested after they were found to have been working in an illegal online gambling venture at the Fontana.
Fontana is owned by Macau-based businessman Jack Lam.
Aguirre and Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) chief Andrea Domingo told the media that Lam, through his men, has offered bribes, to allow his online gambling business to continue.
Aguirre and Domingo claimed they rejected the offer.
Lam’s lawyer denied the story.
President Rodrigo Duterte ordered Lam’s arrest due to charges of bribery and economic sabotage.
Aguirre said Lam can be arrested without formal charges before the court because economic sabotage was a continuing crime.
In ordering the probe on the BI, Aguirre told the NBI to “leave no stone unturned and there will be no sacred cows [in the investigation against Immigration officials who may have been accepted huge amount of money in exchange of Chinese nationals’ freedom]! We will hold those found responsible accountable! Corruption, of any kind has no place in the DOJ family, it has no place in Government!”