MANILA - Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre on Wednesday designated officers-in-charge to replace two Bureau of Immigration (BI) officials accused of receiving millions in bribe money from gambling tycoon Jack Lam.
Atty. Estanislao Canta was appointed OIC of the office of BI Associate Commissioner Al Argosino, while Immigration Officer Jose Carlitos Licas was tapped for the office of Associate Commissioner Michael Robles.
Canta has been temporarily relieved of his duties as Attorney IV of the BI Board of Special Inquiry while he takes on the OIC post, while Licas will take on the OIC post in addition to his duties as Immigration Officer IV.
Aguirre's orders take effect immediately and will be enforced until further notice.
The reshuffle came a day after Argosino and Robles admitted to accepting money from Lam as part of their investigation against the Macau-based businessman.
The bags were brought by former policeman Wally Sombrero, a representative of Lam, in exchange for the release of some illegal Chinese employees arrested at Lam’s Fontana Leisure Park and Casino in Pampanga.
Argosino and Robles personally went to the DOJ on Tuesday afternoon to turn over P30 million of the P50 million alleged bribe money to Aguirre.
They said the missing P2 million went to Sombero, while another P30 million was allegedly pocketed by BI intelligence chief Charles Calima.
Aguirre, who happens happens to the deputy commissioners' fraternity brother, has recommended to President Rodrigo Duterte the dismissal of all those implicated in the issue.
He has also ordered the relief of Calima.