MORE Bureau of Immigration (BI) officers are being investigated for possible involvement in various illegal schemes in the agency, the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) said Monday, April 8.
In a press briefing, PACC Chairman Dante Jimenez said the move is in compliance with President Rodrigo Duterte's order to get rid of corrupt people in the government.
Citing that the commission is probing 18 BI Intelligence Division personnel who allegedly extorted a total of P9 million from 15 Korean nationals, PACC Commissioner Greco Belgica reported that on the basis of his report and recommendation, the President ordered to suspend the BI officials involved pending investigation.
“It is common knowledge that BI officials engaged in this money-making scheme on foreigners who have little knowledge about our laws and threaten them with arrest and deportation should they refuse to give in to their demands,” Belgica said.
“This despicable act puts our country in a bad light and damning not only to themselves but to the Filipinos as a nation as Koreans will think that all Filipinos are the same -- corrupt, thieves, and kidnappers,” he added.
The 18 agents are in hot water after several Korean victims filed a complaint with the Office of the President (OP) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) against them.
The South Koreans were arrested in Angeles City, Pampanga last March 6 despite being documented aliens.
Meanwhile, BI spokesman Dana Krizia Sandoval said the 18 BI intelligence officers have already been asked to explain their side.
She added that the bureau will decide on whether to dismiss the said officials within three months, while separate criminal cases would be filed against them before the National Bureau of Investigation and eventually the DOJ.
The PACC official also revealed that they have received information that at least 300 South Koreans have been victimized by these erring BI officers. (PNA)