Aguirre sacks Immigration intel chief over alleged extortion

/ 09:05 AM December 14, 2016
PAYOFF MONEY Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II shows the P30 million turned over by Associate Immigration Commissioners Al Argosino and Michael Robles. The two officials allegedly extorted the money from gaming tycoon Jack Lam in exchange for the release of illegal Chinese workers. —MARIANNE BERMUDEZ

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre poses with P30 million allegedly given by gambling tycoon Jack Lam to two officials of the Bureau of Immigration. The two officials turned over the money after the story of alleged extortion on Lam was exposed. INQUIRER

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II on Wednesday said he had ordered the relief of acting Bureau of Immigration (BI) intelligence chief Charles Calima over his alleged involvement in the extortion from gambling tycoon Jack Lam in exchange for the release of overstaying Chinese nationals.

“Yesterday, I issued a department order relieving or dismissing retired Police Director Charles Calima from Bureau of Immigration,” Aguirre said over radio dzMM.


Calima was appointed to his post by Aguirre.

Aguirre’s order came a day after he recommended to President Rodrigo Duterte the termination of two BI assistant commissioners, Al Argosino and Michael Robles, who allegedly extorted P50 million from Lam in exchange for the release of 600 out of 1,316 arrested Chinese nationals working illegally in the country.


READ: 2 immigration execs caught on video with 5 cash bundles | 2 BI execs admit receiving P48M from Jack Lam

Aguirre said he was not able to meet or talk to Calima after he released the relief order.

Argosino and Robles, fraternity brothers of Duterte and Aguirre, denied demanding money from Lam as alleged by Inquirer columnist Mon Tulfo and claimed they accepted it as part of their supposed investigation of corruption in the agency.

The two alleged that Calima asked for P18 million supposedly to pay off Tulfo and Lam’s aide retired police colonel Wally Sombero. They admitted receiving P48 million from Lam last Nov.27, adding that the remaining P2 million went to Sombero as “balato.”

“Right in front of you is the highest evidence of corruption of public officials. The corruption of public officials that was facilitated by no less than Lam, Sombero, the two interpreters and little did you know, the highest intelligence officer of the BI, Calima,” Argosino said in a press conference on Tuesday.

In Tulfo’s column, Calima was mentioned to be present during the payment of the P50 million to the two commissioners. CBB



Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Bureau of Immigration, Charles Calima, extortion, gambling, Jack Lam, news, Vitaliano Aguirre
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

© Copyright 1997-2020 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.