2 BI deputies in bribery scandal quit

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 16 2016 09:42 PM | Updated as of Dec 17 2016 12:55 AM

MANILA - The two Bureau of Immigration (BI) deputy commissioners accused of receiving millions in bribe money from gambling tycoon Jack Lam have quit their posts.

In a statement issued Friday, Immigration Deputy Commissioners Al Argosino and Mike Robles said they have tendered their resignation, effective immediately.

According to the two high-ranking officials, the past days have been very difficult for them and their families.

The deputy commissioners, who are fraternity brothers of President Rodrigo Duterte at the San Beda College of Law, said they wish to spare the president from troubles brought by the allegations against them.

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre earlier recommended the 2 officials' termination.

Aguirre has designated officers-in-charge OICs to replace them. 

Argosino and Robles, who have denied the bribery accusation, said they filed a criminal complaint against Lam, Wally Sombero, Norman Ng, Alexander Yu and Charles Calima for Corruption of Public Officials and Violation of R.A. No. 4200 last Dec. 13. 

They said they learned today that ex-cop Sombero has filed a graft and corruption complaint against them before the Ombudsman. 

Sombero had alleged that Argosino and Robles extorted P50 million from Lam in exchange for the release of around 600 Chinese employees working in Lam's online gaming facility in Fontana Leisure Parks and Casino in Clark, Pampanga. 

"Now that both cases have already been filed, it is time for the truth to prevail. To spare the Honorable President from the troubles brought about by the false allegation hurled by Mr. Wally Sombero, we are tendering our resignation effective immediately," they said.

 - with a report from Henry Omaga Diaz, ABS-CBN News