BI Personnel Linked to “Pastillas” Scam Finished Serving Suspension and Back to Work
PASTILLAS SCAM PERSONNEL – The employee of the Bureau of Immigration (BI) linked to the scheme allegedly back to work after serving the suspension.
The 43 BI employees accused of participating in the “pastillas” bribery plot have returned to work, according to Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, after serving a six-month suspension while the investigation is ongoing. Guevarra confirmed after President Rodrigo Duterte stated in his final State of the Nation Address (SONA) that he fired 43 BI personnel for the scam.
“Their six-month preventive suspension has lapsed. They have reported for work at the main office, not at their previous assignments in the airport terminals. Those who were under job order arrangements have been terminated,” Guevarra said.
The Ombudsman first issued a suspension order against BI employees involved in the scheme in December 2020. In this context, Guevarra stated that the DOJ has the authority to fire a BI employee if there is sufficient cause.
“It’s the DOJ who appoints immigration officers under the Commonwealth Act that established our immigration agency. We have disciplined so many immigration officers in the past for administrative offenses,” he said.
Last October, the Ombudsman suspended several immigration officers without pay for six months pending an investigation into their involvement in the pastillas scam, in which Chinese nationals paid thousands of pesos in bribes to be allowed to enter the country without going through the normal channels.
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