Department of Justice probes 2 law enforcers, lawyer

December 02, 2018

They are not even regular or organic personnel of the Bureau of Immigration, to begin with.

And yet they allegedly had the temerity to abuse or take advantage of their delegated authority for apparently personnel gain.

If true, this is a violation of their duties and responsibilities as law enforcers on special assignment.

To be sure, a dereliction of duty most foul is wildly feared in this case.

Here is a composite narrative pieced together by Ped Xing sources:

The Department of Justice is quietly investigating two police officers assigned to the Office of the Commissioner and another lawyer in the Bureau of Immigration for alleged involvement in a syndicate behind the upsurge in illegal Chinese workers in the country who were issued working visas after entering the country as tourists.

Labor Sec. Silvestre “Bebot” Bello III asked Justice Sec. Menardo Guevarra to investigate the two police officers and an immigration official because they were allegedly behind the facilitation of the issuance of 9G or working visas for the Chinese workers, allegedly without the knowledge of their boss --Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente.

During a Senate hearing last week, Immigration officials reported that the BI has issued special working permit to 119,000 Chinese nationals, who entered the country using tourist visas. The issuance of the SWVs without going through the necessary processes or being bound by restrictions from the Department of Labor and Employment allowed the Chinese nationals to work in the country for three to six months.

The Senate Labor Committee chaired by Senator Joel Villanueva initiated an investigation on the issue after DoLE officials discovered that dozens of Chinese nationals were working on Chinese-funded infrastructure projects without securing the required permits from the DoLE.

He noted the BI should have no jurisdiction in issuing work permits since only DoLE has the “technical knowledge” to assess if allowing foreigners to work here would be detrimental to local workers.

Guevarra ordered the investigation of the two -- Atty. Alex Recinto, Technical Assistant of Jess Castro, Chief of Staff of Commissioner Morente, and a certain Attorney Maminta also in Morente’s office-- to determine their possible involvement in the syndicate behind this apparent irregular issuance of working visas to more than 100,000 Chinese nationals.

The DoJ is also investigating allegations that the 9G visas were being processed in the BI’s office in SM Aura in Taguig instead of in the BI’s central office in Intramuros.

The two police officers had been under scrutiny already over the issue of double compensation because they allegedly received salaries both as Morente’s aides and their salary in the National Police.

Their promotion from their rank of police major when they entered the BI to colonel early this year also became controversial because of the rule that police officers cannot be promoted when detailed to another agency.

Both Resinto and Castro were allegedly close aides of disgraced PNP chief Alan Purisima, who was suspended for a graft case under the Aquino Administration but still undertook major security operations like the failed Mamasapano operation against Islamic terrorist-bomber Zilkipli Abdir alias Marwan when 44 PNP Special Action Force commandos died in battle with local Islamic rebels.

It was discovered that Purisima directed the operations without the knowledge of the acting PNP chief at that time or the head of the Department of the Interior and Local Governments.

Resinto also faces administrative cases with the PNP for his alleged involvement in graft charges involving Purisima.

Two weeks ago, two police officers were also implicated in the P5-billion shabu smuggling in the Bureau of Customs -- sacked PDEA deputy chief Ismael Fajardo, and dismissed PNP Senior Superintendent Eduardo Acierto. The two were in active service when the controversial shipment arrived in Manila.

Guevarra is incensed that his campaign to rid the DOJ of all the illegal and controversial activities is being sullied by the continued activities of syndicates that prey on foreigners in the BI.

The BI had been in the center of controversy under the Duterte Administration when Immigration Deputy Commissioners Al Argosino and Michael Robles, were videotaped in a hotel allegedly receiving bags of bribe money from lawyers of gaming tycoon Jack Lam.

The involvement of the two deputy commissioners, who had already been fired by the President, was the first controversy that weakened the credibility of his administration’s avowed campaign against corruption in government as it showed even his own appointees, fraternity brothers in Lex Taliones even, were involved in corruption.

Guevarra was angry that corruption could continue unabated in the BI despite the controversy that involved the two former deputy commissioners and the embarrassing way they were found out and booted out of office by the President himself, with the help of the DoJ chief and Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea.

The lesson here is that law enforcers should be painstakingly be more mindful of faithfully executing delegated authority than their own original, primary mission.

As for lawyers, they are generally presumed to know better than the rest of us mere mortals about the bounds or limits of what is lawful or legal.

In both cases law enforcers and lawyer, it would seem, are clueless or couldn't care less.

Behold God’s glory and seek His mercy.

Pause and pray, people.