BI officials admit getting P50M

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Immigration (BI) Associate Commissioners Al C. Argosino and Michael B. Robles admitted having received P50 million from Chinese online gambling operator Jack Lam.

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The P50 million was allegedly in exchange for the release of 600 illegal Chinese arrested for working without permit at the Fontana Hotel and Leisure Park in Clark, Pampanga.

The transaction took place on November 27 at the City of Dreams Hotel and Casino in Pasay City.

Based on the CCTV records of the hotel, the money was handed to the two officials by retired police general Wally Sombero.

In a news conference on Tuesday, the two immigration officials claimed that they were framed up. They added that they kept the money to use it as evidence against Lam and his cohorts.

“We don’t look at this as bribe money, we look at this as evidence of corruption,” Agrosino said.

He explained that they did not have Sombero arrested so as not to blow up their operation since they were still collecting evidence against Lam.

“That’s why it reached this point that we are being accused of receiving bribe money from Lam,” Agrosino said.

The two officials accused retired police general Charles Calima, the acting BI intelligence chief, of conspiring with Sombero in setting them up.

Agrosino presented only P30 million during the news briefing. He said Sombero took P2 million while Calima pocketed P18 million.

The two officials yesterday filed corruption of public officials charges against Sombero, Calima, Lam and his two interpreters.

Agrosino and Robles had filed a 30-day leave of absence.

However, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre 2nd said he has recommended to President Rodrigo Duterte the duo’s dismissal from the service. WILLIAM B. DEPASUPIL

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3 Comments

  1. armando flores on

    The story of Argosino and Robles is unbelievable. If they were gathering evidence by receiving the Php 50 Million bribe money, they should have entrapped Sombero by having him arrested right after handing over to them the money. They and other arresting officers present during the entrapment operation are justified to make the arrest without warrant as the crime of corrupting a public officer or bribery is committed in their presence. Prior to the entrapment, Argosino and Robles should have reported the matter to the Chairman of the Bureau of Immigration and secured the latter’s approval to conduct the entrapment operation. They also should have requested assistance from the NBI. After the operation, they and the arresting officers are also bound to execute Affidavits of Arrest and render a Post Operation Report to their Superior as to the circumstances of the arrest and refer the case immediately to the Prosecutor’s office for inquest proceedings. Mukhang very late na yong kasong isinampa nila against Sombero, Calima and Lam at yon ay di kapanipaniwala dahil wala naman silang inarestong tao despite the commission of the crime of corrupting a public official that they are now claiming as their defense in receiving the money from Sombero. Di rin nila sinasabi kung para kay BI Chairman or Secretary of Justice yong perang pinabibigay ni lam thru Sombero. Kulang sa aral itong mga abogadong ito. Nakakahiya, taga san beda pa naman at ka grupo ni justice secretary aguirre at ni duterte. O baka naman talagang nangunguwarta na rin silang lahat na nabuking lang.

  2. A lawyer’s typical alibi. All of those government officials are all involved and should all be penalized or imprisoned while on trial, not just removed from service and be free to spend their loot.

    This just tip of huge heap of dirt in government services.

    Such rotten government officials deserve the death sentence, much more than a street criminal.

    If the government is serious about change, let all government officials and workers understand that from now on, crime will mean death. Only with this kind of discipline can this cancer of the nation be cured.

  3. If found guilty by due process, these 2 people PLUS Jack Lam should have a long time in prison. It is this kind of corruption which needs to be heavily punished.