2 immigration workers sacked over Reyes brothers’ escapeBy Tetch Torres
MANILA, Philippines—The Bureau of Immigration has removed from its duty at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport the two Immigration employees allegedly involved in the escape of former Palawan Governor Joel Reyes and his brother, Coron, Palawan Mayor Mario Reyes.
Immigration spokesperson Atty. Maria Antonette Mangrobang on Wednesday said over the phone that Wesley Gutierrez and Rodel Udarbe have been removed from their airport duties and recalled to the Immigration’s main office in Intramuros, Manila.
Gutierrez is the Immigration Officer who allegedly cleared Joseph Lim Pe, the name on the passport used by former Governor Joel Reyes while a driver of Udarbe revealed that he was the one who fetched the Reyes brothers in Pasay City and took them to the airport.
Mangrobang said Immigration Commissioner Ricardo David already ordered Gutierrez and Udarbe to explain.
After submitting their explanations, Mangrobang said they will determine if the two will be meted preventive suspension while they are determining if the two can be held administratively liable.
Sources from the Immigration Department early this month said Reyes managed to sneak out of the country last March 18, 2012 aboard Cebu Pacific Flight 5j751 bound for Vietnam. He allegedly used a passport with the name Joseph Lim Pe. The passport was issued only last February 3, 2012.
Whistle-blower Sandra Cam, at a press conference, said a driver of Udarbe revealed that it was not only the governor but his brother Mario was also able to leave the country.
The Reyes brothers are wanted for the death of broadcaster and environmentalist Gerry Ortega.