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Ombudsman sees foundation to indict BI execs Argosino, Robles

Former Deputy Immigration Commissioners Al Argosino andMichael Robles show the hundreds of thousands in money they allegedly receivedfrom a gaming wealthy person all the way through a press convention in Manila.INQUIRER file photo MARIANNE BERMUDEZ

The workplace of the Ombudsman has discovered ample groundwork to cost resigned Bureau of Immigration BI Commissioners Al Argosino and Michael Robles with plunder and bribery circumstances over the try and extort P50 million from a gaming multi-millionaire in November ultimate 12 months.

study: 2 BI pros admit receiving P48M from Jack Lam

Argosino and Robles, the fraternity brothers of President Rodrigo Duterte, had been accused of worrying the pay-off from Macau-based mostly businessman  Jack Lam in alternate for the free up of 1.”316 chinese language nationals who labored for him with out the appropriate visas.

study: Duterte: No means frat brothers Argosino, Robles may be reinstated to BI

The Ombudsman’s order that was made public on Friday got here despite the worry of some senators that the loss of a measly P1.”000 from the recovered dirty cash would keep away from the case from attaining the P50-million threshold required for a plunder conviction.

The decision pointed out that while the amount surrendered with the aid of Argosino and Robles to the branch of Justice got here a bit of brief, it “can’t excuse them from being indicted for plunder.”

This became as a result of they nevertheless failed to rebut the declare of Lam’s business acquaintances, Norman Ng and Alex Yu, who stated the BI officials truly received P50 million from Lam on the city of goals on Nov. 27, 2016.

Robles himself admitted that “they took possession of all five bags containing the P50M.”

The Ombudsman also did not give credence to their claim that the two former BI officers merely took custody of the cash for safekeeping and to be used as facts in an investigation on illegal on-line gambling.

The resolution cited that Argosino and Robles even gave P2 million to alleged middleman Wenceslao Sombero Jr., and saved the ultimate money from Nov. 27 to Dec. 8 as a substitute of turning it over to the appropriate authorities.

“Their failure to instantly record to the suitable investigating authority, or at the very least, their superiors, DOJ Sec. Vitaliano Aguirre and Commissioner Jaime Morente, that that they had custody of the P50M, contradicts their professed intentions,” the Ombudsman mentioned.

The commissioners even gave an P18-million reduce to immigration intelligence chief Charles Calima on Dec. 9, which the Ombudsman regarded to be “all acts of possession, which confirmed that they handled the P50M that they bought as their personal.”

For the Ombudsman, Argosino and Robles used their authentic functions to commit the crimes with Sombero acting as a conspirator.

The antigraft body found Sombero’s role to be essential to the scheme since his movements in his ability as president of the Asian Gaming provider suppliers association, ., prepared the ground for the transaction.

in the meantime, Calima became held accountable for taking half in the extortion scheme allegedly in trade for keeping his silence.

Argosino and Robles would face one count number every of the nonbailable offense of plunder, in addition to direct bribery and violation of part threee of the Anti-Graft and faulty Practices Act, for inflicting undue injury to the govt.

they would also face two counts of violating President Decree No. forty six, which prohibits government employees from receiving gifts.

despite having filed one of the complaints in opposition t the BI officials before the Ombudsman in December, Sombero would nevertheless face one count every of plunder, direct bribery and graft, and two counts of violating PD forty six.

The Ombudsman likewise discovered probably cause to cost with one count of direct bribery and graft.

as the source of the bribe funds, Lam could be charged with one count of violating PD 46 for sending the present to Argosino and Robles.

Controversy erupted as the trade was caught on closed-circuit tv. jpv

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