Report of kickbacks to allow Chinese nationals into the Philippines baffles officials

19-Feb-2020 Intellasia | TheStar | 6:02 AM Print This Post

Immigration officials on Monday claimed ignorance of the so-called ‘Pastillas’ modus wherein corrupt airport employees and officials receive kickbacks in exchange for the seamless entry of Chinese nationals.

Senator Risa Hontiveros exposed the alleged kickback scheme, which she said could very well have reached a total of one billion pesos, during the hearing of the Senate committee on women on Monday (February 17).

Bureau of Immigration (BI) deputy Commissioner J. Tobias Javier and Port Operations Division head Grifton Medina both insisted that they were hearing about the scheme for the first time.

“This is the first time I am seeing this particular rundown of amounts, ” Medina told the committee, adding that some airport officials have already been reassigned as part of their measures to combat corruption.

“I know it’s a hard task that was given to me, but I took up the challenge… What I could say is we don’t tolerate such activities, ” Medina, who assumed his post in November 2018, further said.

Javier echoed Medina’s statement.

“It’s the first time I am seeing this, ” Javier said of the exchange of messages of alleged cohorts, though he noted that visa upon arrival is not processed at the airports.

Hontiveros said that the Chinese nationals, who allegedly paid 10,000 pesos as a service fee, held ordinary tourist visas.


Category: Philippines

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