MANILA—Sen. Richard Gordon on Thursday hit the Bureau of Immigration (BI) for the loose enforcement of their laws—for allowing illegal Chinese workers to work in the Philippines and letting retired Police Senior Supt. Wally Sombero, alleged middleman of Macau-based gambling tycoon Jack Lam, to leave the country.
During the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing into the PHP50 million bribery scandal involving BI officials, Gordon asked the invited resource persons why Sombero was able to quickly leave the country despite an immigration lookout bulletin order (ILBO).
BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said Sombero was allowed to leave the country because the name indicated on his official documents was his full name Wenceslao Sombero and not his nickname “Wally” Sombero.
The ILBO was issued to “Wally” Sombero not Wenceslao Sombero.
Gordon said he wanted the Immigration officer at the time of Sombero’s departure to be fired.
“Aren’t our Immigration officers trained? We’re beginning to be the laughing stock of the whole world, people can easily enter here, people can also easily leave,” Gordon said.
“The more you say these things, the more people raise their suspicions on the government,” he added noting that there was so much negligence in the bureau.
Lam owns an online casino called Fontana Leisure Parks and Casino in Clark, Pampanga which employs Chinese nationals illegally working in the country. Sombero allegedly bribed BI officials with PHP50 million in exchange for the release of the Chinese workers.
Sombero’s lawyer said that his client was supposed to return to Manila to attend the Senate probe via flight Philippine Airlines (PAL) flight PR 199 but was not allowed to leave because of “sweating and shortness of breath.”
Sombero claimed he was advised to see a cardiologist.