Duterte relieves Immigration officials, employees  in ‘pastillas’ bribery scheme

Credit to Author: Catherine S. Valente, TMT| Date: Thu, 20 Feb 2020 06:41:14 +0000

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte ordered the relief of all officials and employees of the Bureau of Immigration (BI) over the alleged “pastillas” bribery scheme involving Chinese workers of the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operations (POGOs) industry, Malacañang announced on Thursday.

In a press conference, Palace spokesman Salvador Panelo said Duterte has received reports and found “prima facie evidence” to order the relief of the erring BI officials.

“We wish to announce, in connection with the alleged bribery scheme in the Bureau of Immigration, President Rodrigo Duterte has relieved all officials and employees of the Bureau of Immigration who are allegedly involved in the latest bribery scheme,” Panelo said.

“They purportedly facilitated the entry into or exit from Philippine territory of forigners working for POGOs for an unauthorized fee,” he said.

The President, according to Panelo, “considers this an anomaly, a grave form of corruption which cannot and will never be countenanced by this government.”

“Any official or employee who commits transgressions will be meted with punishment that they deserve and in accordance with penal laws,” he said.

The issues surrounding the BI will be taken up in the next Cabinet meeting, Panelo said.