THERE may be credence to allegations that some Liberal Party (LP) officials had a hand in a controversy at the Bureau of Immigration (BI) involving a Chinese fugitive who allegedly bribed some government officials to ensure his continued stay in the country.
An agency source claimed that BI executive director Eric Dimaculangan is the “point man” at the bureau. Dimaculangan, he said, is also being groomed by people close to President Benigno Aquino 3rd to replace Commissioner Siegfred Mison.
The source said it was Dimaculangan who included the deportation case of Wang Bo in the May 21, 2015 agenda of BI officials who eventually allowed the Chinese felon to stay.
On March 5, 2015, Mison and Associate Commissioners Abdullah Mangotara and Gilberto Repizo ordered Wang deported. But on May 21, they reversed their order and required presentation of authenticated documents like the warrant for Wang’s arrest issued by Chinese authorities and proof of cancellation of his passport.
The reversal was done on a “technicality.”
But on May 26, Mison presented a draft resolution, which again ordered the deportation of Wang. The Chinese has been in detention since his return to the country in February.
The Manila Times source gave the paper a copy of the list of deportation cases in agenda that was prepared by Dimaculangan, showing, among others, the case of Wang as the second to be tackled in those with “pending motions.”
“Dimaculangan is close to the President because of his brother. There is an ongoing move to ease out Mison and the two associate commissioners to clear the way for Dimaculangan’s appointment which may happen in July,” said the source.
The agenda prepared by Dimaculangan was received by the Office of the Commissioner on May 20, based on an official receipt stamp on the document.
According to the source, Dimaculangan is the brother of Manny, a close friend of Aquino who arranged acquisition of the controversial Porsche Carrera sports car that Aquino bought in 2011.
Manny is regarded as one of the best car buffs in the country. It was he who informed the President about the sports car and bought it for P4.5 million. In wake of a deluge of criticisms for his “toy,” Aquino later decided to sell the car.
Interestingly, the agenda prepared by Eric lacked vital information on the case of Wang such as the date of charge and its transmittal to his office and the decision rendered.
The document described Wang as a “fugitive; undocumented; undesirable.”
The three immigration commissioners allegedly received P100 million from Wang so he would remain in the country and not sent back to Malaysia, where he came from last February.
Repizo allegedly collected an additional $10 million (P440 million) for the LP, which supposedly used the money to bribe congressmen for the approval of the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), an accusation that the officials vehemently denied.
The money was supposedly turned over to Mindoro Oriental Gov. Alfonso Umali, LP treasurer, and with whom Repizo is said to be closely associated.
In a recent House hearing, the BI officials cleared lawmakers and the administration party of involvement in the Wang controversy.
“There is no member of the House and there is no political party involved in this case. It is a simple summary deportation process,” Mison told an investigating panel.