MANILA - Two former immigration officials linked to a P50 million bribery scandal have asked the Sandiganbayan to allow their detention at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center in Camp Crame instead of a Bureau of Jail Management and Penology facility in Camp Bagong Diwa.
Former deputy commissioners Al Argosino and Michael Robles, and their co-accused retired policeman Wally Sombero, are currently detained in Camp Bagong Diwa, after the release of their arrest warrants for plunder in connection with the supposed payment of P50 million for the release of illegal Chinese workers in 2016.
In the joint motion filed by their lawyers, Argosino and Robles cited their relationship with President Duterte and the hundreds of detainees in Camp Bagong Diwa who are facing illegal drugs charges.
“It is public knowledge that both accused were appointed by and fraternity brothers of the Honorable President Rodrigo Duterte. President Dutere’s extensive campaign against illegal drugs aka tokhang led to the arrest of hundreds of persons allegedly engaged in drug trade and/or drug use and are detained in various regular detention facilities nationwide including Quezon City Jail Annex in Camp Bagong Diwa,” said lawyer Job Castillo in the joint motion.
They also cited the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which says that “accused persons shall, save in exceptional circumstances, be segregated from convicted persons and shall be subject to separate treatment appropriate to their status as unconvicted persons,” Castillo said.
The court gave the prosecution, as well as the PNP 24 hours to comment on the motion.
Also, 6th Division Chairperson Associate Justice Sarah Jane Fernandez directed the BJMP to ensure the safety of the detainees.
Meantime, the court also gave the prosecution until Monday to comment on the motion to quash filed by Argosino and Robles.