Give Aguirre power to overhaul BI, VACC asks Duterte | Inquirer News

Give Aguirre power to overhaul BI, VACC asks Duterte

/ 07:35 PM December 23, 2016
The Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) has asked President Rodrigo Duterte to give Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II full discretion in overhauling the Bureau of Immigration (BI) whose top officials were currently embroiled in a bribery scandal involving gaming tycoon Jack Lam.
VACC Chair Dante Jimenez said the President should fire  Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente, a former Davao city police chief,  because it would be difficult for Aguirre to move forward in going after crime and corruption in his department if he does not trust the current BI chief.
“Mr. President, please give the Secretary of Justice the authority to overhaul the BI because it [has] long been  tainted with corruption.  BI is one of the most corrupt bureaus of the  executive branch,” said Jimenez.
Jimenez said that Morente has to resign because he was directly responsible for the actions of his commissioners and intelligence officer. “Command responsibility stops with Morente.They have destroyed the image of the BI and they are just pointing fingers at each other. Let the Justice Secretary take over,” said Jimenez.
Jimenez said that Morente himself has a lot of explaining to do on  his role in the P50 million bribe given by Lam through his representative, former Police Supt. Wally Sombero, to two Immigration Associate Commissioners Al Argosino and Mike Robles last Nov. 27.
Jimenez said Morente has sowed more confusion in the P50 million payoff as he has insisted on having his former friends at the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group to handle the case instead of the the National Bureau of Investigation under Aguirre.
Morente has backed up his “mistah” or Philippine Miliary Academy classmate, Immigration intelligence chief Charles Calima, who claimed that Argosino and Robles were extorting money from Lam who was caught  hiring 1,316 illegal Chinese  workers in an on-line gaming casino in his Fontana Leisure Park and Casino in Clark, Pampanga last Nov. 24. Lam left the country on Nov. 29 and has not returned  since President Rodrigo Duterte ordered his arrest for bribery and economic sabotage.
Morente claimed that he authorized Calima to conduct  a surveillance on the Nov. 27 transaction at the City of Dreams Manila between Sombero and Argosino and Robles. But Aguirre questioned why it took Morente more than two weeks to report the alleged extortion and why Calima took P20 million of the loot (Sombero took  P2 million from the P18 million) . Aguirre has already fired Calima and his deputy,  Col. Edward  Chan.
Argosino and Robles claimed it was a  bribery and returned the remaining P30 million to the DOJ. President Duterte has fired both on the recommendation of Aguirre. All four are members of the Lex Talionis Fraternity at San Beda School of Law.


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TAGS: bribery scandal, Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente, Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption
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