‘Pastillas’ bombshell dropped

February 20, 2020

THE Immigration officer who exposed the pastillas scheme in the Manila International Airport appeared at the Senate hearing and personally testified on the alleged multi-billion peso scheme, baring a ‘sweeter deal’ and naming a colleague allegedly involved in the anomaly.

Immigration Officer 1 Allison Chiong yesterday said there’s even a sweeter deal offered to Chinese fugitives which allows them to enter and leave the Philippines despite getting blacklisted.

“My primary function as an immigration officer involves operating the counter in the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) wherein I am tasked to examine the travel documents of departing and arriving passengers rotating in its three terminals,” Chiong said in his opening statement.

“As a frontline immigration officer, I have personally witnessed various illegal transactions over the years involving the extortion of money in exchange for unimpeded passage through the Philippines whether leaving or entering our country,” he added.

Chiong, in his reply to Senator Imee Marcos’ inquiries said those who were blackslisted or had criminal records are allowed to freely enter the country under a special arrangement which is at least five times larger than in the pastillas scheme.

“From what I have heard, it ranges about P50,000 to P200,000 per daan. Kapag high profile, milyun-milyon po yun,” said Chiong.

He described the scheme as VVIP deal and pointed to his colleague named Den Binsol, assisted by his staff in the Travel Control Enforcement Unit, as those behind the arrangement.