Two immigration executives were caught on camera carrying five paper bags, allegedly containing Php 10 million each, given to them by a former police colonel linked to gambling tycoon Jack Lam.
Sources showed the Philippine Daily Inquirer camera footage from a casino mall in Parañaque City, showing two assistant commissioners of the Bureau of Immigration (BI) receiving five paper bags that allegedly came from former police colonel Wally Sombero.
“The cash bundles were so heavy that one of the paper bags got ripped,” said the DOJ sources who showed the video footage and still frames dated Nov. 26 and 27.
Sombero, wearing a black cap, black shirt, and pants, was seen with two commissioners wearing eye glasses — one in a blue button-down shirt, identified as Michael Robles, and the other in a black shirt, identified as Al Argosino.
Sombero and the two commissioners were seen walking towards a restaurant inside the Parañaque mall.
Initially, Sombero carried only two paper bags as he and the BI officials walked around the mall toward a couch in the middle of the restaurant. He placed the paper bags under the table close to their feet.
The three men talked for a few seconds. After that, Sombero left again. This time, according to the source, to get three more paper bags that allegedly contained Php 30 million.
It took Sombero several hours to return and prepare the money. A still frame showed one of Sombero’s friends fixing the paper bags after one of them got ripped.
Sombero was accompanied by two other men wearing polo shirts who carried the paper bags for him when he returned to the restaurant.
The next still frame showed on camera are Sombero, the BI officials, and the two men close to an elevator door inside the parking lot, about to leave the mall with the paper bags in tow.
These associate commissioners, as well as intelligence chief Charles Calima Jr., have been given 24 hours to disprove the allegations that they extorted Php 50 million from Jack Lam in exchange for the release of overstaying Chinese nationals.
BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said his directive is separate from the National Bureau of Investigation probe ordered by Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II.
“We will support this and any other parallel investigation on the matter,” Morente said.
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