Two Bureau of Immigration (BI) officials were caught on camera receiving five paper bags full of money from a former Philippine National Police (PNP) officer linked to Macau-based gambling tycoon Jack Lam.
ABS-CBN’s TV Patrol showed screenshots of the video footage showing former PNP Chief Supt. Wally Sombero giving 5 paper bags allegedly containing P10 million each to BI associate commissioners Michael Robles and Al Argosino inside a restaurant at a mall in Parañaque City.
As per an ABS-CBN story, Robles and Argosino allegedly demanded P150 million from Jack Lam in exchange for the release of Chinese nationals arrested during the raid in Lam’s Fontana Leisure Park and Casino in Clark Freeport in Pampanga, but Lam’s camp was able to bring the demand down to P100 million.
The P50 million brought by Sombero was supposedly the initial payment and another P50 million will be paid once Lam’s workers were freed.
Department of Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre said he will recommend to President Rodrigo Duterte that Robles and Argosino as well as other BI personnel involved in the extortion be relieved immediately while an investigation is ongoing.
BI Commissioner Jaime Morente gave Robles and Argosino as well as BI Intelligence Chief Charles Calima 24 hours to disprove the allegations that they extorted money from Lam’s camp in exchange for the release of undocumented Chinese workers at Lam’s casino.
Meanwhile, Robles and Argosino are now on leave for 30 days to give way to the investigation being conducted by the National Bureau of Investigation.