JUSTICE Secretary Jesus Crispin “Boying” Remulla vowed on Monday, July 4, 2022, to go after syndicates operating in the Bureau of Immigration (BI), Land Registration Authority (LRA) and Bureau of Corrections (BuCor).

In a speech shortly after the flag raising ceremony at the Department of Justice (DOJ) main office in Manila, Remulla, who assumed the DOJ chief post last June 30, said he will make sure that the rule of law will prevail in the country.

“Ang rule of law ang manaig sa ating bansa. Tayo po ang frontline sa lahat ng ito, at kailangan po umandar ang sistema ng hustisya na walang kinikilingan, dapat pantay-pantay,” he said.

(The rule of law should prevail in the country. We are the frontline in all of this, so the justice system should work and be fair to all.)

He said as the new secretary of the DOJ, he will work to dismantle the syndicates operating in LRA, BI and BuCor, which are three key agencies under the Justice department.

“Unahin na natin ang LRA na kahapon, nung kine-kuwento sa 'kin ng malapit na kaibigan na law practitioner, ikinuwento nya sa’kin ang aktibidad ng sindikato na naroroon na nananaig sa sistema ng LRA, sindikato na may tao sa halos lahat ng sangay ng gobyerno,” he said.

(Let’s start with the LRA, which according to my law practitioner friend, has a syndicate operating inside the office, a syndicate that has a person in at least all agencies of government.)

He added that in the BI, there have been extortion, human trafficking and protection syndicates.

“The sad thing about the Bureau of Immigration is that it exercises sovereign powers. It is the face of the country and we Filipinos have a duty to protect our own country, what more for the frontline organization that people see when they enter and leave the country?” Remulla said.

In June 2022, the DOH ordered the dismissal of 18 BI officers and employees over the so-called “pastillas” bribery scheme. The personnel were found guilty of grave misconduct, gross neglect of duty, and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service.

“Gusto niyo bang magtagal pa ang ganitong imahe ng ating bansa dahil may departamento, may isang opisina na nakakalimot na sa kaniyang mandate na paglingkuran ang taumbayan?” he said.

(Do you want this kind of reputation to last in the country? Having an office that forgets its mandate to serve the people?)

He added that in BuCor, there has been continuing syndicate activities that are destroying the country. He did not elaborate.

He said Monday, July 4, that President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. offered him the DOJ post on May 12, three days after the elections, and he could not refuse it.

“Sino ba naman ako para tumanggi sa alok at hamon na binigay ng ating pangulo?” he said.

(Who am I to refuse the President’s offer?)

Remulla was the Presidential Management Staff assistant secretary during the term of former President Joseph Estrada.

He was reelected as Cavite representative. (LMY/SunStar Philippines)