DOJ sacks 3 employees over visa racket

Lian Buan

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DOJ sacks 3 employees over visa racket

LeAnne Jazul

(UPDATED) Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II also orders an investigation into the employees, and puts them on the immigration lookout

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The Department of Justice has terminated 3 of its employees for involvement in the anomalous processing of visas for Chinese nationals at the Bureau of Immigration (BI), an attached agency to the DOJ.

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said on Friday, February 2, that he will order the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to conduct a case build-up against the employees.

The 3 were also put on the Immigration Lookout on the same day. They are:

  1. Cyrus Morata
  2. Abvic Ryan Maghirang
  3. Shigred Erigbuagas

“I ordered the termination of several DOJ employees who have confessed to being involved in anomalies involving the purported processing of visas at the Bureau of Immigration,” Aguirre said.

Aguirre said the 3 employees confessed to being involved in the processing of Immigration Quota visas for six Chinese nationals in exchange of “large sums of money.” 

Justice Undersecretary Erickson Balmes said they confessed due to threats to their lives. It was Balmes who raised the matter to Aguirre after finding out that his signature was forged in the documents which were sent to the BI.

“The NBI is directed and granted authority to conviction investigation and case build-up over the alleged graft and corrupt activities committed by Cyrus Morata, Abvic Ryan Maghiran and Shigred Erigbuagas, and such other employees of the Department of Justice, in relation to the issuance of visas, and if evidence so warrants, to file appropriate charges thereon,” Aguirre said in his department order. –

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Lian Buan

Lian Buan covers justice and corruption for Rappler. She is interested in decisions, pleadings, audits, contracts, and other documents that establish a trail. If you have leads, email or tweet @lianbuan.