THERE is a discrepancy of P10 million between the amount that retired police official Wally Sombero claimed to have given to two Bureau of Immigration (BI) associate commissioners in exchange for the release of undocumented aliens working for Chinese gambling tycoon Jack Lam, and the amount that Lam stated in affidavits that his interpreters had submitted to the Senate blue ribbon committee.
Based on the affidavits received by his committee from Lam’s interpreters, Sen. Richard Gordon on Sunday said, a total of P60 million was released to Sombero on the night of November 26 and early morning of November 27.
At the time, former BI associate commissioners Al Argosino and Michael Robles met with Sombero at the City of Dreams in Pasay City (Metro Manila) supposedly to discuss the case of the 1,316 Chinese illegally working at Fontana Leisure Parks and Casino in Clark, Pampanga.
Argosino and Robles are fraternity brothers of Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre 2nd who also met with Lam, Sombero and the two interpreters at Shangri-La hotel in Bonifacio Global City (Taguig City) in Metro Manila in the afternoon of November 26.
Gordon said the claims of the interpreters about the P60 million gave Sombero a reason to return to the country and face the Senate blue ribbon committee.
“That is why I don’t want that information to come out until Sombero comes in, because he will be in trouble in case he insists that he only received P50 million,” Gordon said in an radio interview aired over dzBB.
But since the information is already out, the senator added, Sombero could now prepare his answer to the committee regarding the P60 million.
The blue ribbon committee was supposed to present during its hearing last week Lam’s reported business partner Charlie “Atong” Ang and interpreters Alex Yu and Norman Ng.
Sombero last year filed complaints for violation of Section 3(e) of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act against Argosino and Robles for allegedly extorting P50 million in exchange for the release of Lam’s workers.
Gordon said Sombero had assured him that he will be attending the blue ribbon hearing on Thursday (February16).
According to the senator, he spoke with the former police official last Friday and was told by Sombero that he would return to the country and face the Gordon committee.
The senator said he assured Sombero that the Office of the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms will provide him security once he arrives in the country.
Sombero, in a letter to the Gordon panel, said he was very concerned about his and his family’s safety because of supposed threats that he has been receiving.