Wed. Jan 20th, 2021

MANILA — Some immigration officials at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) have been relieved from their posts following the revelation of an ‘escorting scheme’ for Chinese nationals in a Senate hearing on Monday.

“Terminal heads and TCEU (travel control and enforcement unit) head, at least five [were] affected,” BI spokesperson Dana Sandoval said in a text message on Tuesday.

Sandoval, however, did not identify the involved personnel, adding that they were relieved of their posts immediately after the Senate hearing.

“For prudence, I am unable to release the names of those relieved as they were removed from their posts due to command responsibility. It might be best to wait for the results of the investigation of the fact-finding committee,” Sandoval added.

On Monday, BI Commissioner Jaime Morente has ordered a probe to identify those who are supposedly involved in the “scheme” wherein immigration personnel escort Chinese nationals who are working in Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) in exchange for bribes.

The bureau is also coordinating with the office of Senator Risa Hontiveros to get more details on the supposed scheme and also with the Department of Justice (DOJ), its mother agency.

During the hearing, Hontiveros revealed the modus where BI personnel at the airport allegedly received money from Chinese nationals for their seamless entry into the country.

The “payouts” are allegedly placed in bond papers and rolled like a “pastillas”, a local delicacy made of milk and sugar rolled in a paper. (PNA)

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