Oops! P30M returned by BI officials short by P1,000

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 14 2016 11:59 AM

MANILA- One thousand pesos has been missing from the money returned by Bureau of Immigration (BI) officials who allegedly received bribes from gambling tycoon Jack Lam, officials said Wednesday.

BI Deputy Commissioners Al Argosino and Michael Robles turned over to officials some P30 million they got from Lam after being called out by Department of Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre.

"We ended counting the money turned over to us at around 8 p.m. last night (Tuesday). It's P1,000 short so it is really P29,999,000," Justice Undersecretary Erickson Balmes told ABS-CBN News in a text message.

Both the DOJ and the Immigration officials have yet to clarify where the missing P1,000 went.

On Tuesday, the two BI officials admitted to accepting P50 million from Lam, but insisted they only did so as part of an investigation against the Macau-based businessman.
 
They also claimed P2 million of the P50 million went to former police official Wally Sombero, a former police official linked to Lam, while P18 million was pocketed by retired police general Charles Calima, chief of the BI’s intelligence unit.

Robles and Argosino said they kept the money as evidence but did not arrest Sombero because they had yet to prove his ties to Lam.

"We are all lawyers and we decided at that time it was turned over to us that we do not have the goods yet on Jack Lam," Argosino said.

-- With reports from Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News