CHINESE gaming tycoon Jack Lam's "middleman" who was involved in the alleged P50-million extortion scandal in the Bureau of Immigration (BI) arrived in the Philippines on Tuesday morning, February 14.

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said Retired Police General Wenceslao "Wally" Sombero arrived in the country at 7:30 a.m. onboard a flight from Vancouver, Canada.

Sombero left the country last January 17 for "medical purposes," a week before the Senate investigation on the alleged extortion try in the BI began.

With Sombero's arrival, Aguirre released a memorandum directing the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to provide Sombero with escorts up to his turnover to the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee on Thursday, February 16.

Amid an Immigration Lookout Bulletin Order (Ilbo) directed against Sombero, BI Chief Jaime Morente admitted in the last Senate hearing that an immigration officer had allowed Sombero to leave the country without any question.

According to Morente, there is no alert when his passport was scanned at the immigration counter because his real name "Wenceslao" was in his passport, while the subject of the Ilbo was "Wally."

Sombero is accused of offering P50 million to dismissed BI commissioners Al Argosino and Michael Robles, in exchange for the release of the Chinese workers of Lam arrested in his casino in Pampanga.

Sombero in previous interviews denied that it was a bribe money and claimed that the P50 million was allegedly extorted from him by Argosino and Robles. The two ex-commissioners, however, denied the accusations. (SunStar Philippines)

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