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Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II vowed yesterday to overhaul the Bureau of Immigration (BI) following the latest corruption scandal involving Chinese casino tycoon Jack Lam.
Aguirre pointed out that the revamp of BI officials would not be enough to weed out corruption within the bureau.
“Hindi lang revamp ang dapat doon kundi complete overhaul,” said Aguirre.
“Marami diyan ang mga corrupt,” the secretary added.
Aguirre has described the BI as the second most corrupt agency after the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor).
President Rodrigo Duterte has already fired BI deputy commissioners Al Argosino and Michael Robles on recommendation of Aguirre after receiving the P50 million bribe money from Lam for the release of some of the 1,316 illegally working Chinese nationals who were arrested in Lam’s Fontana Leisure Park and Casino Hotel in Clark, Pampanga.
Both Argosino and Robles are brothers of Duterte and Aguirre in Lex Talionis Fraternitas. Argosino was appointed to his post by Aguirre himself.
Apart from the two, Aguirre has removed his own appointee — BI intelligence chief Charles Calima Jr. — and the latter’s assistant Police Supt. Edward Chan.
Argosino and Robles have already turned over some P30 million to Aguirre while, they claimed, Lam’s middleman, retired police general Wally Sombero took P2 million, and Calima got P18 million.
Sombero already turned over to the Ombudsman P2 million and Calima handed P18 million to the Philippine National Police –Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG). (JEFFREY G. DAMICOG)