Poe: Granting of visas to foreigners in fake firms a threat to PH’s peace, order

Poe: Granting of visas to foreigners in fake firms a threat to PH’s peace, order

/ 10:15 AM January 18, 2024

MANILA, Philippines — The issuance of employment visas to foreigners in fake local companies poses a threat to the country’s peace and order, Senator Grace Poe said on Thursday.

Poe in a statement said the Department of Justice (DOJ) should also punish erring Bureau of Immigration (BI) officials, after Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla himself said that BI allegedly gave thousands of prearranged employment visas to foreigners supposedly in 500 fake local companies.

“The alleged issuance of employment visas to foreigners in hundreds of fake firms is alarming and poses peace and order threats,” Poe, chairperson of the Senate committee on public services, said in a statement.


“The DOJ must get to the bottom of this illegal scheme, and punish erring immigration personnel and other individuals who made the entry of the foreigners possible,” she added.


Remulla previously said that the DOJ is already investigating the matter.

However, according to Poe, the country should already be wary of such schemes as it has already seen a fair share of crimes related to Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGOs).

“We have witnessed how crimes related to POGOs continue to bring problems to our peace and order.  These nefarious activities will remain unabated if personnel from no less than the Bureau of Immigration will keep the gates open to illegal foreigners,” Poe said.

In February 2020, Senator Risa Hontiveros exposed an alleged kickback scheme where corrupt airport employees and officials receive kickbacks in exchange for the seamless entry of Chinese nationals.

Dubbed as the “Pastillas scam,” bribe money was said to be rolled like the famous milk candies to avoid scrutiny. Under this scheme, Hontiveros said that the Chinese nationals, who allegedly paid P10,000 service fees, are given ordinary tourist visas despite coming to the Philippines to work in POGOs.

Hontiveros has also called on BI to clean up its ranks, noting that it seems nothing has changed despite the revelation of the Pastillas scam four years ago.


READ: BI probe exposes 459 foreigners in visa scam  

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TAGS: Bureau of Immigration, Grace Poe, visa, work visa

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