Sunday 29 March 2020
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rappler - 1 month ago

LOOK: How syndicates, airport officials split P10,000 bribe from POGO workers

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Risa Hontiveros, citing evidence from an informant, revealed in a Senate hearing how airport officials split bribes from Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGO) who pay them to glide through immigration processes. In a modus called pastillas,  where POGOs pay P10,000 per person and provide free lunch to get VIP treatment, P2,000 is split among airport immigration workers , while P8,000 is distributed among the operators and syndicates. The P2,000 for immigration and airport workers is divided as follows: Immigration officers (IO) get the highest cut at P650 Duty immigration supervisors (DIS) get P470 Travel central enforcement unit (TCEU) gets P280 Border control and intelligence unit (BCIU) gets P240 Operations (OPS), or administrative/clerical officers get P260 Terminal head (TH) gets P100   A Rappler source in the immigration bureau confirmed on Monday the breakdown and amounts provided by the senator.  Grifton Medina of the Bureau of Immigration (BI) port operations division said in the hearing that it was the first time for him to see this breakdown and that he was commissioned by Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra and BI Commissioner Jaime Morente to instill change at the airport to combat corruption. Medina, deputy commissioner Tobias Javier, and even intelligence division chief Fortunato Manahan who handles the BCIU all said they were not aware of such bribery. After the Monday hearing, the BI announced it would investigate the revelations of alleged corruption. Hontiveros earlier suggested the suspension of POGO operations because they “attract criminals” into the country. Hontiveros also found links between the influx of POGO workers and the rise of sex trafficking in Manila. – with a report from Ryan Macasero/

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