5 Immigration officials relieved in 'pastillas' modus probe

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 18 2020 10:22 AM | Updated as of Feb 18 2020 10:32 AM

Immigration personnel at the NAIA Terminal 1 in Parañaque City. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Five officials of the Bureau of Immigration have been relieved as authorities looked into an alleged bribery scheme involving bureau personnel and Chinese workers in the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operations (POGO) industry.

"Yesterday following itong expose, immediately relieved lahat ng terminal head at head ng travel control and enforcement unit pending the result of the investigation," Immigration spokesperson Dana Sandoval told radio DZMM.

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Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente has created a fact-finding committee to look into the so-called "pastillas" scheme, where P10,000 paid by Chinese nationals are rolled in bond papers to be distributed to bureau personnel and Chinese and Filipino travel agencies.

The committee was given 15 days to investigate and submit a report, Sandoval said.

Officials found guilty of violating the law will face criminal and administrative charges, she added.