Duterte Cabinet to tackle fate of corruption-tagged Immigration chief: Palace

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 21 2020 10:00 AM

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The head of the immigration bureau will face scrutiny by Cabinet officials, even after President Rodrigo Duterte vouched for him despite an alleged bribery scheme that allowed the illegal entry of Chinese nationals into the country, Malacañang said Friday. 

Under Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente's watch, some airport officers allegedly received P10,000 for every Chinese national, including suspected and convicted criminals, who were allowed to enter the Philippines as tourists and later work in gambling hubs. 

Duterte said Thursday that he "loved" Morente, a former police chief in Davao City, the President's hometown. 

"He (Duterte) has fired members of the Cabinet who are friends, allies... Ganoon din iyon. Kung incompetent ka, he will fire you. If you're corrupt, he will fire you," Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo told ANC. 

"That's precisely why we said we will take up the case of Commissioner Morente and the way he ran his office in the next Cabinet meeting," he added. 

Duterte had relieved all Immigration officers and employees allegedly involved in the so-called “pastillas” scheme, in which the bribe money is rolled inside a paper as with the Filipino milk-based candy. 

The issue is among several reported anomalies hounding the mostly Chinese-run Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator industry, ranging from sex trafficking to corruption. 
 
ANC, Feb. 21, 2020