Foreign detainees: Police stole P200,000 from us

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MORE than P200,000 in cash owned by several foreign detainees at the Bureau of Immigration (BI) Detention Center inside Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City (Metro Manila) went missing after a surprise operation by policemen on different jail facilities inside the 48-hectare camp last Monday.

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Among the complainants is American detainee Contrad Pearson, who claimed to have lost an undetermined amount of cash intended for the medical needs of his son, Cunard, who is critically ill at the Tri City Medical Pasig.

“I was on the phone with an American detainee Conrad Pearson trying to arrange help for his 19-year-old son Cunard who is critical in Tri City Medical Pasig when the phone went dead. The money stolen by the PNP [Philippine National Police] from these detainees, many of whom are held on bogus charges or simple visa overstay, seems to exceed P200,000,” a highly reliable source told The Manila Times on Thursday.

The source said the police raiding team confiscated all the mobile phones, wallets and money, among other personal property of the 170 detainees in the BI jail.

BI spokesman Ma. Antonette Mangrobang said the police raid was coordinated with immigration authorities, adding that a report by National Capital Region (NCR) PNP director Chief Supt. Oscar Albayalde said receipts were issued to their respective owners “and will be returned only to them on their scheduled deportation.”

On the complaints of some foreign detainees, Mangrobang said she was not aware of the grievances, adding that the BI could not act on them till a formal complaint is filed.

“I advised them to file a formal complaint addressed to Immigration Commissioner Jaime Mornte,” Mangroban further said.

The raid on the BI jail was conducted on Monday by joint elements of the Regional Police Intelligence Operation Unit and immigration operatives over reports of alleged proliferation of drugs inside the facility.

The reports said the raid resulted in the confiscation of assorted unauthorized gadgets such as cellphones, pocket wi-fi and tables.

Also recovered was an alleged white crystalline substance, which will be   subject for confirmation test with the Crime Laboratory and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.

WD/CC

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2 Comments

  1. No reciepts were ever issued, no record of what belongs to who.
    So, will they also return the stolen cash upon a detainees departure?
    One of the main reasons Cellphones are used is for detainees to get a hold of money so they can eat better than the 800 calorie diet BI seems to think is sufficient and to arrange for attorneys, airlines for departure, etc.
    If this “raid” was for drugs, where were the drug sniffing dogs? Why did the police simply rush in at gunpoint, take electronics and cash then dissapear?
    This had nothing to do with drugs and everything to do with an Armed Robbery, sanctioned by the State. By labeling any operation a “drug” bust or stopping the “proliferation”, it automatically gives the PNP complete impunity to do as they like, especially since President Duterte has announced that he will never prosecute police involved in his drug war.
    Much like the Geatapo in Nazi Germany, these goons are nothing more than criminal thugs wearing badges.
    This is shameful and detrimental to the Countries already tarnished image.

    • That’s completely true Jari. I have a personal connection to this robbery as I know Conrad Pearson. He had been doing laundry and washing dishes for other inmates to raise money for his family. He had 9000 pesos in his wallet when the PNP took it from him, no record was made and no receipt was given to him. When he got his wallet back the next day 6000 pesos was missing. That is state sponsored armed robbery of guys, many of whom are being help on false or no charges, with the full blessing of the Philippines President. The statements made by the PNP to cover up what happened are lies. And consider this was done in what is the Christmas holiday season when people should be thinking what they can do to help one another not how to steel from one another. But how do you hold the crooks accountable in a place where they enjoy total impunity? Things need to change and need to change in a hurry. If things dont change the only direction for the Philippines is down.