Atong Ang: P60M was paid for release of illegal Chinese workers
A total of P60 million, and not P50 million, had been paid supposedly for the release of alleged undocumented Chinese workers in Clark, Pampanga, businessman Charlie “Atong” Ang told a Senate hearing on Thursday.
Ang, business partner of gambling tycoon Jack Lam, appeared for the first time in the ongoing Senate blue ribbon committee’s probe on the alleged bribery/extortion scandal at the Bureau of Immigration (BI).
Ang said former BI Associate Commissioner Al Argosino and Michael Robles were allegedly demanding P100 million but P60 million had only been released through former police official Wenceslao “Wally” Sombero Jr.
“Wala pang na bi-bail e P60 (million) na ang nakukuha (No one has posted a bail yet but they have received P60 [million]),” he told the committee.
“Sir P60 (million) or P50 (million)?” Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero asked.
“P50 million na ang binigay nila tapos humihingi ng P50 (million) dahil kulang daw. E nagkataon na Sunday din noon, hindi na ma-release so P10 million lang nakuha ni Mr. Sombero (They were given P50 million but they were asking for another P50 million because they said it wasn’t enough. It was a Sunday so only Mr. Sombero was only able to get P10 million)…” Ang said.
It was Sombero, who allegedly handed the P50 million to Argosino and Robles during a meeting at a restaurant of the City of Dreams in Parañaque City last November 27.
Lam’s representative, Alex Yu, who was also present in the hearing, said it was him who gave Sombero the additional P10 million.
Sombero admitted receiving the money, saying he was supposed to give it to the former immigration officials as part of the P50-million balance. He said Yu handed him the additional P10 million at 11 p.m. of November 26 or before he met with Argosino and Robles.
But Sombero said he changed his mind and later told Yu to first hold the P10 million.
“Sinabi ko kay Alex huwag na nating ibigay itong P10 million, sobra na. Tama na muna yung P50 million, tutal wala namang nare-release (na workers) kaya sige hawakan nyo muna dyan. At kung ano man ang pwedeng magastos natin, pag-usapan muna natin dahil napakamahal ng bayad sa abogado,” he said.
(I told Alex we better not give the million, it’s too much. P50 million is enough since not the workers were not yet released so hold it first. And we should talk about the possible expenses because the attorney’s fee is expensive.)
“So na sayo po yung P10 million (So you have the P10 million)?” Escudero asked again.
“Kailangan po naming mag accounting ni Alex… Opo, nasa akin yung pera (Alex and I need to perform accounting… Yes, I have the money),” Sombero said. RAM
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.