BI denies accusation of getting bribe from detained Chinese

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Saturday, December 14, 2013

THE Bureau of Immigration (BI) has denied accusations that the agency received a large sum of money from an unidentified politician as payment for the release of 35 Chinese nationals.

Siegfried Mison, BI's officer-in-charge, said that no politician has ever approached the agency and asked for the release of some Chinese nationals currently been detained at the bureau.

"No sum of money will ever convince us to break our sworn duty to implement our laws for the Filipino people," Mison said in a statement released on Saturday.

He said the recent operation at the 168 Shopping Mall along Divisoria in Manila was covered by a proper mission order and was authorized by the Department of Justice (DOJ) to arrest foreign nationals working and doing business in the mall without proper documents.

"These foreign nationals deprive our countrymen of the opportunity to earn a living. Under our laws, no foreign national is allowed to work in the Philippines without securing a working permit," Mison said.

He noted that prior to their operation; the agency's intelligence operatives conducted a surveillance operation wherein 85 foreign nationals were invited for questioning.

"The operation was preceded by proper surveillance and that the 85 foreign nationals invited for questioning were read their rights,” Mison said.

Thirty-five out of the 85 foreign nationals were released after thorough verification of the authenticity of their travel documents.

"Those who are still in our custody are being investigated. These foreign nationals are now being taken cared in our office in Intramuros," he said.

He added that those who will be found to have violated Immigration Rules will be accorded the proper punishment and fines as required by the Philippine laws.

Mison said the 35 were released after they showed valid work permits while the rest are undergoing further investigation.

"We at the Bureau of Immigration are at the service of the Filipino People," Mison said. (John Carlo Cahinhinan/Sunnex)

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