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Gordon hits ex-BI officials

Sen. Richard J. Gordon, chairman of the Senate Blue Ribbon committee, dressed down yesterday former Bureau of Immigration (BI) associate commissioners for allowing a middleman of a beleaguered Chinese casino operator to hold sway over them.

“He is able to talk to you, you follow him like a sheep dog, following like a lap dog,’’ Gordon said in yesterday’s committee hearing.

Gordon was referring to Wenceslao “Wally’’ A. Sombrero Jr., retired police senior superintendent.

Sombrero had allegedly given P50 million in cash in five bag to the two BI dismissed aassociate commissioners – Al C. Argosino and Michael B. Robles, after meeting Department of Justice (DoJ) Secretary Vitaliano Napenas Aguirre II at ShangriLa Hotel in Taguig City last year following the arrest by BI operatives of 1,316 alleged Chinese illegal workers the Fontana casino owned by Jack Lam in Pampanga.

Aguirre earlier said he turned down a request of Sombrero that he acts as Lam’s godfather (Ninong) when they met at the hotel room before Aguirre attended alumni homecoming party of his alma mater San Beda college at the same hotel. Lam was in that room with an interpreter.

After this incident, Sombrero later met Argosino at a restaurant at the City of Dreams casino in Parañaque city where the former first offered two bags containing P20 million in cash to the latter.

Sombrero would later come and go out for hours.

“You (Argosino) were waiting for eight hours and get away with it,’’ Gordon said.

Robles later joined them at the City of Dreams where a total of P50 million in cash was given.

In the same hearing, Aguirre rebutted point-by-point the allegations raised by Senator Antonio Trillanes IV on his possible involvement in the multimillion bribery scandal at the Bureau of Immigration (BI).

Aguirre asked permission to answer the issues raised by Trillanes.

This, as he said: “Any imputation against my reputation should not be allowed to flourish any moment longer. It should not be allowed to fester into a gangrenous wound any moment longer.”

“Verily, a lie told a thousand times will become truth and I simply cannot allow it your honors,” Aguirre said before proceeding to answer the questions asked by Trillanes last Jan. 23.

On why he met with the “suspects” in the said bribery case in a hotel, Aguirre explained that he “met with them on November 26, 2016 at Shangri-La BGC… due to the fact that I am also attending an awarding ceremony on the same venue and not for any malicious reasons.”