Sandigan junks bail petitions of ex-BI, PNP execs in Jack Lam extortion case
The Sandiganbayan has denied the petitions for bail of former Bureau of Immigration (BI) and Philippine National Police (PNP) officials tagged in the P50-million extortion case involving reported gaming tycoon Jack Lam in 2016.
In a decision issued Thursday but released to the media on Friday, the anti-graft court rejected the requests for bail of former BI Commissioners Al Argosino and Michael Robles, and retired police Sr. Supt. Wally Sombero, citing the weight of evidence presented against them by the prosecution.
“Using the standard of evident guilt or presumption of guilt as defined in People vs Cabral, this Court finds that the accused Argosino,Robles and Sombero are not entitled to bail,” the Sandiganbayan noted in its ruling.
“It must be emphasized that ruling herein is not a prejudgment of the guilt of the accused. The Court merely determined the weight of evidence for the purposes of bail,” it added.
The Sandiganbayan also cited the large amount of money involved in the case, which, it said, could qualify for plunder. It further noted the alleged connivance among the respondents.
Argosino, Robles, and Sombero are currently detained at the Quezon City Jail Annex at Camp Bagong Diwa, as they are facing charges for allegedly accepting money from Lam, who was caught operating an online gaming business inside the Fontana Leisure Parks and Casino in Clark, Pampanga in 2016.
Lam has left the country even before President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the PNP to arrest him for economic sabotage.
READ: Jack Lam flees PH
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