President Duterte stood by the head of the Bureau of Immigration (BI) despite a scam. Here are the stories making the headlines on ANC today:
Corruption at the BI
An immigration officer blew the lid on a scam at the Bureau of Immigrations (BI) where some officials allegedly facilitated the entry of Chinese into the country for a fee. The whistleblower, Allison Chiong, said immigration officials at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) allow the entry of even blacklisted individuals for P10,000. Chiong said the elimination of their overtime pay in 2016 gave birth to the scam. Meanwhile, President Duterte vouched for BI chief Jaime Morente, a former police chief in the president’s hometown province of Davao. Duterte had said he would not tolerate even a “whiff of corruption.” The Senate is set to summon BI officials allegedly involved in the scam.
Shut up or leave
Sen. Ronald Dela Rosa told Police Lt. Col. Jovie Espenido to “stop talking” or “get out” of the police service. Espenido complained his inclusion of his name in the narco-list was a result of “failure of intelligence.” PNP chief Gen. Archie Gamboa said Espenido violated a gag order on the issue and ordered a probe on Espenido.
Do your job
House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano vowed ABS-CBN would not be closed while Congress tackles the renewal of the network’s franchise. But Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the network’s operation beyond March 30 when its franchise expires is “legally questionable.” He urged Congress to do its job and get to work on the franchise. Cayetano also fired a broadside at the Senate, saying the upper House could be violating the Constitution by holding hearings on the franchise.
It’s been more than two years since the Marawi siege ended but the rehabilitation of the city has been slow going. The former spokesperson of the Marawi crisis management committee, Zia Alonto, said leaving the rehabilitation of the war-torn city in the hands of the rich may encourage violent extremism. A report by the Operation Pacific Eagle-Philippines, an overseas contingency operation supporting the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ fight against ISIS, said delays in the rehabilitation is boosting ISIS recruitment. The special committee on the city’s rehabilitation is scheduled to be reconstituted and officials will be checking on the status of the rehab.
A place of his own
The artist Anton Belardo has always sought the refuge of a safe space ever since his father passed away. ANCX pays a visit to one such space that he created for this year's Art Fair Philippines.