MIAA ‘symphatizes’ with BI amid probe on ‘pastillas’ modus
MANILA, Philippines — The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) on Wednesday expressed “sympathy” to the Bureau of Immigration (BI) in the wake of an investigation on the so-called “pastillas” scheme.
In a press briefing, MIAA General Manager Ed Monreal was asked about his comment on the exposé of Senator Risa Hontiveros during a Senate hearing on February 17 to which he replied:
“Siguro kasing bigat ng pagtanggap na nararamdaman ng ahensya ng immigration. Kahit hindi kami directly involved, syempre po kami po, we sympathize with the bureau kung ganun po ang naging label so sana naman po maayos po ito.”
(Maybe as heavy as how the Immigration bureau takes it. Even though we’re not directly involved, we sympathize with the bureau if that is how it is being labeled. I hope this will be resolved.)
During the Senate hearing, Hontiveros revealed that airport employees allegedly receive kickbacks in exchange for the entry of Chinese nationals supposedly working in the Philippine offshore gaming operations or POGOs.
Arriving Chinese nationals reportedly shell out a P10,000 service fee, of which P2,000 will be divided among officials of the BI’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.”
“As far as I know, dumadaan naman po sa tamang proseso ang mga pasahero. Hindi ko po alam ang detalye nun dahil hindi ko naman po nakuha ‘yung pinakadetalye,” Monreal said.
(As far as I know, passengers are undergoing the right process. I don’t know the details of that because I was not able to get the essential details.)
“Siguro may ginagawa na BI. Hayaan na muna natin sila maggawa ng kailangan, kung kailang imbestigahan, eh di imbestigahan po nila. We will wait kung ano ang magiging reaction nila,” he added.
(Maybe the BI is already doing something. Let’s allow them to do what they need to do, whether there is a need for them to investigate or not. We will wait on whatever their reaction will be.)
Meanwhile, five officers have already been relieved by the immigration bureau due to command responsibility on the alleged “pastillas” scheme.
Edited by KGA
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