All BI officials will be investigated on bribery allegations — De Lima

By , on June 9, 2015

Department of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima (Chari Villegas / Senate Pool)
Department of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima (Chari Villegas / Senate Pool)

MANILA — Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Leila M. De Lima on Monday said that all officials of the Bureau of Immigration (BI), including its chief Siegfred Mison, will be subject of an investigation on allegations of bribery to stop the deportation of a Chinese fugitive wanted in his country for a US$ 100-million case of embezzlement.

“All of the officials of BI whether part of the Board of Commissioners or not will be investigated,” De Lima said in an ambush interview.

Mison has already denied receiving bribe money.

The BI Chief said that he was made to believe by two BI Associate Commissioners that Wang Bo, a Chinese fugitive, should not be deported to China since the foreign national committed the crime here in Manila.

Mison was referring to Associate Commissioners Abdullah Mangotara and Gilbert Repizo.

The 31-year-old Wang, who is wanted by the International Police Organization (Interpol) and the Chinese government for allegedly embezzling US$ 100 million, was supposed to be released from the BI detention facility.

However, De Lima stopped the order signed by BI officials.

Wang has been detained at the BI jail in Taguig City since his arrest on Feb. 10, 2015 upon his arrival at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) from Malaysia.

The Chinese Embassy sought the BI’s assistance in apprehending Wang, saying that he was wanted for illegal gambling and that his passport had been cancelled.

The DOJ Chief said that she is still deciding whether to allow Wang’s deportation or not because of the fact-finding investigation.

“I’m still trying to determine if it would be wise to deport him given the allegations because if it’s true that Immigration officials received money, the source of the money would be the respondent himself,” De Lima said.

Wang also reportedly provided hundreds of millions of pesos to bankroll the decision of lawmakers to approve the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).

De Lima said that her worry is that she may be accused of covering up the bribery issue if she will order Wang’s deportation.

“I myself would like to know what happened….I am inclined to create a team [to conduct the investigation],” she added.