Senate Panel Unearth BI “Pastillas Scam” after “New Flavor” Exposed

Senate Panel Unearth BI “Pastillas Scam” to Probe New Modus of Officials

The Senate panel Tuesday unearth the Bureau of Immigration (BI) “pastillas scam” as “new flavor” was exposed linking to the previous modus operandi.

Risa Hontiveros said in an interview with Teleradyo, the senate is resume their investigation to the “pastillas” immigration scheme after the new modus operandi of the officials was exposed.

According to her, Chinese nationals allegedly pay P550,000 each for a seamless entry into the country. She said that halted “pastillas” modus operandi even evolved and mutated.

“Kung dati P10,000 ngayon P550,000 na per head. Akala ko nga po Covid-19 lang ang nagmu-mutate, pati pastillas scam na rin pala, parang bagong flavor na ng pastillas,” she added.

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Hontiveros earlier led a Senate investigation into the so-called “pastillas” scam. She expresses her opposition and recommends cancelation of the VUA or visa upon arrival system for Chinese nationals entering the country.

BI Pastillas Scam
Image Source: CNN

Based on the report of the Inquirer, the VUA program is a joint project of the Department of Tourism (DOT) and the Department of Justice (DOJ). It was launched in 2017 to attract Chinese tourists.

However, the BI has suspended the implementation of the program last year, January. Hontiveros said, there’s still no formal announcement the system will completely be canceled.

She also stressed that Chinese nationals are allegedly the ones being favored customers of the immigration scheme whether it is a “pastillas scam” or the “mutated” modus operandi.

Earlier, an immigration officer was arrested by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in an entrapment operation for charging large sums of money to Chinese nationals who wanted to enter the country.

READ ALSO: Foreigners In PH May Get Deported, BI Gives Until March 1 To Report

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