DOJ appoints new BI commissioners amid extortion scandal

THE Department of Justice (DOJ) has appointed two acting commissioners to the Bureau of Immigration (BI), replacing the two officials under probe for their alleged involvement in the extortion on gaming tycoon Jack Lam.

In a Department Order dated December 12 released Wednesday, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II has designated Immigration Officer IV Jose Carlitos Licas as officer-in-charge to replace Michael Robles and BI Board of Special Inquiry IV Estanislao Canta to replace Associate Commissioner Al Argosino.

Argosino and Robles, who are now being investigated for their alleged involvement in the anomalies in the BI in relation to the arrest of more than 1,000 undocumented Chinese nationals in Clark, Pampanga, filed with the DOJ a 30-day leave of absence last Monday.

According to Aguirre, the newly designated officers will replace the two BI officials until they return to their posts on January 11.

However, if President Rodrigo Duterte will grant the recommendation of Aguirre to dismiss the alleged corrupt officials, the designated officers will remain in their post until the President appoints new officers to permanently replace the two.

Argosino and Robles are accused of extorting P50 million from Lam in exchange for the release of nearly half of the 1,316 undocumented Chinese nationals arrested at Lam's gaming operation in Clark, Pampanga.

The two returned the P30 million last Tuesday and denied the allegations against them. (Sunnex)
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