‘Pastillas’ modus allowing entry of Chinese nationals baffles BI execs
MANILA, Philippines — Immigration officials on Monday claimed ignorance of the so-called “Pastillas” modus wherein corrupt airport employees and officials receive kickbacks in exchange for the seamless entry of Chinese nationals.
Senator Risa Hontiveros exposed the alleged kickback scheme, which she said could very well have reached a total of P1 billion, during the hearing of the Senate committee on women on Monday.
Bureau of Immigration (BI) Deputy Commissioner J. Tobias Javier and Port Operations Division head Grifton Medina, however, both insisted having heard of the scheme for the first time.
“This is the first time I saw this particular rundown of amounts,” Medina told the committee, adding that some airport officials have already been reassigned as part of their measures to combat corruption.
“I know it’s a hard task that was given to me, but I took up the challenge… What I could say is we don’t tolerate these kind of activities,” Medina, who assumed his post in November 2018, further said.
Javier echoed Medina’s statement.
“It’s the first time I saw (that),” Javier said of the exchange of messages of alleged cohorts on the entry of the Chinese nationals, though he noted that visa upon arrival is not processed at the airports.
Hontiveros said that the Chinese nationals, who allegedly paid P10,000 service fee, are holding ordinary tourist visas.
Edited by EDV
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.