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Bureau of Immigration

Immigration personnel under probe for 'pastillas' scam

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The Bureau of Immigration (BI) ordered an investigation on airport personnel using pastillas as a sign they are allegedly accepting bribes in exchange for escorting Chinese nationals working in Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs).

“Commissioner (Jaime) Morente is deeply alarmed at the exposés of the good Senator Risa Hontiveros during today's (Monday) Senate hearing. He has ordered a full-blown investigation to identify those who are possibly part of this syndicate (and) to file both administrative and criminal cases against them,” BI spokesperson Dana Sandoval said in an interview on Monday.

Sandoval said the bureau will coordinate with Hontiveros' office to get more details on the supposed scheme.
"Yes, (we will coordinate with the office of Sen. Hontiveros) as well as with the Department of Justice which is our mother department,” Sandoval added.

On Monday, Hontiverios exposed the alleged ‘pastillas’ modus operandi within the BI, particularly those at the airport, involving an estimated total of PHP1 billion “kickback” from Chinese nationals in exchange for their smooth entry into the country.

During the hearing, Hontiveros said the modus is a system allegedly centralized by ranking officials.

The “payouts” are allegedly placed in bond papers and rolled like a “pastillas", a local delicacy made of milk and sugar rolled in a paper.

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