Lam ‘middleman’ may not attend 3rd Senate inquiry on BI bribery scandal
Retired Chief Superintendent Wally Sombero Jr., the alleged middleman of gambling mogul Jack Lam, may not be able to attend anew in the ongoing Senate inquiry on the reported P50-million bribery scandal at the Bureau of Immigration (BI), citing health reasons again.
On Thursday, the Senate blue ribbon committee, chaired by Senator Richard Gordon, is set to hold its third hearing on the issue.
“If I’m not mistaken itong si Sombrero may not be able to make it,” Gordon told reporters on Wednesday.
In his letter to Gordon, Sombero said he was set to return to the Philippines from Vancouver via Philippine Airlines “but the airport authority and the PAL representative/supervisor refused to board me due to the sweating and shortness of breath that I was feeling while I was about to board the flight.”
“Upon checking by the Airport 911 paramedics, it was confirmed that my sugar shot up to 450. I was supposed to be brought to Richmond General Hospital but I insisted to board the next available flight back to the Philippines. However, I was first told to see a cardiologist before being given clearance for rebooking,” he said in the letter.
Sombero said he was still trying his best to secure a clearance from a doctor in order to board the next available flight in time for Thursday’s hearing of the committee.
“In any case, even as I have already submitted all of my affidavits through my legal counsel, I would like to reiterate that I truly wanted to appear before the Blue Ribbon Committee to personally assert the fact that it was a consummated extortion rather than a mere perception of bribery,” he said.
Former BI Associate Commissioners Al Argosino and Michael Robles had admitted receiving money from Sombero supposedly in exchange for the release of undocumented Chinese workers at Lam’s Fontana Leisure Parks and Casino in Clark, Pampanga.
If Sombero could not make it to the hearing, Gordon said his committee would invite other resource persons, who claimed to have knowledge of the conversations among certain personalities allegedly involved in the controversy. RAM
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