Jack Lam ‘middleman’ surrenders to police
A former policeman who was tagged as a middleman in the Bureau of Immigration bribery scandal last year has surrendered to authorities, National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief Dir. Oscar Albayalde said Wednesday.
Retired Sr. Supt. Wenceslao “Wally” Sombero, the alleged middleman of gaming tycoon Jack Lam, was presented to the media by Albayalde and Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) chief Dir. Roel Obusan Wednesday morning.
Albayalde said Sombero sent surrender feelers on Monday through two retired senior police officers who had worked with the alleged middleman.
“He is with us today to submit himself to the Sandiganbayan through the PNP. I will personally turn him over to the CIDG for proper disposition,” Albayalde said in a press conference in Camp Crame in Quezon City.
Sombero was charged with plunder before the Sandiganbayan for allegedly bribing former Immigration Commissioners Al Argosino and Michael Robles with P50 million each for the release of 1,300 Chinese nationals arrested at the Clark Freeport Zone in November 2016.
The Chinese nationals were supposed to be deported for working in Lam’s Fontana Leisure Parks and Casino without proper permits and documentation.
The Sandiganbayan on Monday issued a warrant of arrest against Sombero, Argosino, and Robles. The two commissioners, who were at the court when the warrant was released, immediately posted bail.
‘Feels like home’
While saying he has not received threats to his life in connection with the case, Sombero said he chose to surrender to the PNP because he feels safer with his former colleauges.
“With General Albayalde and General Obusan, CIDG, I feel I’m safe. Since I am formerly at CIDG, I feel comfortable [with them],” Sombero said.
The retired policeman said that his detention at the Custodial Center in Camp Crame would be for the court to decide.
Obusan, however, clarified that the detention center was reserved for high-profile inmates whose cases were of national interest.
The CIDG chief said that Sombero would not enjoy special treatment and would be treated like any other accused. /cbb