DOJ: ‘Pastillas’ racket whistleblower now under WPP custody
MANILA, Philippines — The whistleblower who exposed the so-called “pastillas” bribery scheme within the Bureau of Immigration (BI) before a Senate hearing involving Chinese nationals is now under the custody of the Witness Protection Program (WPP), Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said Friday.
Guevarra was referring to immigration officer Allison “Alex” Chong who came forward and revealed the racket involving airport and immigration personnel who supposedly receive kickbacks in exchange for the seamless entry of Chinese nationals into the country.
“Nasa WPP custody na ‘yung whistleblower. We took him in upon the request of Sen. Hontiveros and the Senate President due to security concerns,” Guevarra told reporters.
“He (Chong) will be evaluated thoroughly by the WPP before he could be considered for full coverage,” he added.
The Bureau of Immigration (BI) has placed on floating status 19 personnel mentioned in the Senate hearing, hours after President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the relief of all officials and employees of the BI allegedly involved in the scheme.
Early this week, Hontiveros exposed the “pastillas” scheme wherein Chinese nationals wanting to work in Philippine offshore gaming operators (Pogos) shell out a P10,000 “escort” fee to airport and immigration officers in exchange for a seamless entry into the country.
The scheme was called “pastillas” supposedly because the bribe the money would be rolled in a bond paper and would look like pastillas, a milk-based sweet Filipino delicacy.
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