Ex-immigration exec apologizes, evades being cited in contempt


Posted at Mar 09 2017 04:36 PM

MANILA - A former immigration official whom Senator Richard Gordon earlier threatened to cite in contempt has apologized to the legislative body for his earlier statements. 

Former Bureau of Immigration Deputy Commissioner Michael Robles told the Blue Ribbon Committee that he had a "wrong choice of words" in his previous statement.

"Hindi po iyon ang intensyon kong sabihin. May mga bagay lang po na hindi naming maipaliwanag or ma-express agad. I’m not saying that you were humiliating us. I’m sorry for that," he said.

Gordon again told Robles to respect the Senate panel and the institution, but did not move to cite Robles in contempt as he had earlier warned.

In earlier parts of the hearing, Gordon asked Robles and Al Argosino, another sacked Immigration official, if they would confirm that then-BI intelligence chief Charles Calima got the alleged P18-million bribe from them on December 9.

While Argosino affirmed the statement, Robles invoked his right against self-incrimination.

Gordon then looked behind him and told someone that he doesn't want Robles "here." Robles asked to explain himself, but Gordon refused to hear him out.

"No, you already invoked your right, I know where you are going. You can listen to the proceedings, but after the proceedings, we have already decided we will declare you in contempt and we will bring you to Pasay," he said.

"No, you don’t want to answer. We humiliate you, remember? Inaapi ka namin dito eh," he added.

As the hearing drew to a close, Robles explained that he was only to see if he can invoke his right against self-incrimination.

"Since hindi naman siya [pumwede], I will submit naman po, kaya lang hindi ko na nagawa yung chance na because I was waiting for a ruling," he said.