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I can work with Aguirre—BI chief

/ 05:08 AM December 21, 2016
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre (INQUIRER FILE PHOTO)

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre (INQUIRER FILE PHOTO)

The chief of the Bureau of Immigration (BI) yesterday said he can work with Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II, who is mulling a complete overhaul of the BI after the P50-million bribery scandal involving two immigration officials.

BI Commissioner Jaime Morente maintained that he serves at the pleasure of President Duterte, who appointed him to wipe out corruption in the agency.

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“I serve at the pleasure of the President, and the reform agenda that we have implemented is according to his specific direction to secure our borders, improve service efficiency and eradicate corruption in the bureaucracy,” he said.

The BI chief also encouraged his fellow civil servants in the BI to stay focused on serving the public.

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“This is not the time to stray from the path of change under the President’s leadership,” he said.

Morente issued the statement a day after Aguirre disclosed that he is considering a complete reshuffle of BI officials.

This was after former associate commissioners Al Argosino and Michael Robles were accused of extorting P50 million from gambling tycoon Jack Lam for the release of 1,316 Chinese nationals.

The two former BI officials, who resigned and were eventually fired by Duterte, admitted accepting the money but insisted that they were only investigating the corruption in the BI.

Argosino and Robles were fraternity brothers of Duterte in San Beda College of Law’s Lex Talionis Fraternitas Inc.

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TAGS: Aguirre, Al Argosino, BI, BI Commissioner Jaime Morente, bribery scandal, Bureau of Immigration, corruption, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II, Lex Talionis Fraternitas Inc., Michael Robles
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