DOJ chief on BI chief: We’re on the same page | Inquirer News

DOJ chief on BI chief: We’re on the same page

By: - Reporter / @TarraINQ
/ 05:00 AM January 08, 2016

Justice Secretary Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa said Thursday he recommended the appointment of a new Bureau of Immigration (BI) chief even before the Christmas break because he wanted him on the same page as he.

“The President acted on it Thursday,” Caguioa said. The BI is an agency of the Department of Justice (DOJ).


Justice Undersecretary Emmanuel Caparas, in charge of BI matters, announced the appointment of Deputy Executive Secretary for Finance Ronaldo Geron as new BI chief to replace the controversial Siegfred Mison.

Mr. Aquino appointed Geron on Jan. 6, and Geron took his oath the same day.


Asked why he believed Mison needed to be replaced, Caguioa said: “I wanted everybody to be rowing in the direction that I wanted to row.”

“It’s ideal [that] we’re on the same page,” he said, adding he would  sit down with Geron soon to discuss their game plan for the BI.

Illegal activities

“[We need] nothing earth-shattering… maybe a little amount of tweaks to make [the BI]  more efficient,’’ Caguioa said.

The changing of the guard followed reports linking Mison to  alleged illegal activities at the BI, including the release of fugitives and undocumented foreigners, facilitating the entry of blacklisted foreigners for a price, and lifting hold departure and exclusion orders against foreigners with criminal cases.

Most recently, the National Bureau of Investigation recommended administrative charges of grave misconduct against Mison for his alleged role in Korean human trafficking suspect Cho Seongdae’s transfer to and subsequent escape from a poorly secured room at Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines compound in Quezon City.

Cho has been recaptured and is kept under NBI custody in Manila.


NBI recommendations

Caguioa said the DOJ prosecutors would evaluate an NBI report on Cho and its recommendations.

Apart from Mison, the report identified 17 BI and military personnel who should be held  liable for Cho’s supposedly arranged escape from a BI facility 22 days earlier.

‘’I have to talk to my prosecutors to find out how to move forward,” said Caguioa, adding: “Due process demands that his (Mison’s) side be taken.”

He said he wanted to move on from issues surrounding Mison and others. “I don’t want to dwell on those things anymore, I’d rather move forward,” Caguioa said.

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TAGS: Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa, Bureau of Immigration, Nation, News, Siegfred Mison
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