MANILA — The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has filed charges against three sacked Department of Justice (DOJ) employees found to have forged signatures of officials in bogus documents used to facilitate the visas for Chinese nationals in exchange for a large sum of money.
According to Undersecretary Erickson Balmes, facing falsification raps are Cyruz Morota, a job order employee, executive assistant Abvic Ryan Maghirang and administrative aide Shigred Erigbuagas.
“I have been told that the NBI has filed a case in DOJ for the terminated employees for falsification under Article 171 of Revised Penal code,” Balmes said in a message sent to reporters over the weekend.
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II learned the three fired personnel, who all worked in Usec. Balmes’ office, began committing the criminal acts sometime in September last year.
“During the course of the investigation by the agents of the NBI, it was determined that a spurious letter containing the forged signature of Usec. Balmes with a fake stamp as received marking of the Office of the Commissioner, Bureau of Immigration dated December 18, 2017 was presented by the perpetrators to the Chinese nationals as proof that their respective quota visa applications have been filed,” Aguirre said.
Balmes, however, only learned of the activities last February 1 and confronted the three personnel.
In the presence of Balmes, Undersecretary Raymund Mecate, and NBI officials including Director Dante Gierran, the three confessed to their involvement in the purported processing of the quota visas of six Chinese nationals for a handsome fee.
On the other hand, the three said no applications for the quota visas were filed or processed.
Balmes then sought immediate action from Aguirre including the firing of the three personnel and placing them in the Immigration Lookout Bulletin Order (ILBO).
“Considering the gravity of the possible offense/s the above-mentioned individuals have committed, there is a strong possibility that they may attempt to place themselves beyond the reach of the legal processes of this Department by leaving the country,” he explained to the BI Commissioner.
“We thus deem the issuance of an ILBO against the subject individuals prudent in order to at least monitor the itineraries of their flight, travel, and/or whereabouts,” Aguirre said.
“Let this serve as a warning to all, no act of corruption will be tolerated while I serve as your steward of the Department of Justice. The dividends of corruption will be prosecution,” Aguirre stated.
“Corruption will have no home or sanctuary in the DOJ while I am serving our people there. It will not be tolerated and it will be severely dealt with. Since day one of my stewardship of the DOJ, we have actively and fully supported President Duterte’s pronounced campaign against corruption,” he stressed.
“If you are corrupt, get out. This is not the place for you and we will not tolerate any act of corruption especially in our own backyard,” Aguirre told DOJ employees.