Palace to probe ‘pastillas’ scheme in airport only if complaints are filed
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang on Tuesday said it would only look into the so-called “pastillas” scheme in the airport “if there are complaints formally filed before its office.”
According to Palace spokesman Salvador Panelo, the “Palace frowns” on “any violation, any transgression, any anomaly.”
“We’ve been saying that any complaint should be filed because unless you file a formal complaint, we will never know whether there’s an anomaly. And even if these are being subject of talks in media, in columns, unless there is a complaint filed, we will never know. You have to submit proof so that we can do something about it,” explained Panelo, who also serves as President Rodrigo Duterte’s chief legal counsel.
As revealed by Senator Risa Hontiveros during a public hearing on crimes linked to Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGOs), the “pastillas” scheme supposedly involves airport employees who allegedly receive bribes to allow entry of Chinese working in the offshore gaming industry.
Arriving Chinese POGO employees reportedly shell out a P10,000 service fee, of which P2,000 will be divided among officials of the Bureau of Immigration’s Travel Control and Enforcement Unit, duty Immigration supervisor, and terminal heads.
The supposed “payouts” distributed to immigration officers are rolled and placed in bond papers, hence the moniker “pastillas.”
Five officers have already been relieved by the immigration bureau due to command responsibility on the modus.
Edited by KGA
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