Senator Risa Hontiveros, citing evidence from an informant, revealed in a Senate hearing how airport officials split bribes from Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGO) who pay them to glide through immigration processes.
The P2,000 for immigration and airport workers is divided as follows:
Screenshot sourced from Senator Risa Hontiveros
A Rappler source in the immigration bureau confirmed on Monday the breakdown and amounts provided by the senator.
In a previous hearing in January, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) revealed that 1.8 million Chinese entered the country in recent years. Hontiveros said they could suppose that one million of them arrived through pastillas. Given this number of POGO workers paying a bribe of P10,000 each, then airport officials and syndicates would have earned at least P10 billion from bribery.
Grifton Medina of the BI port operations division said in the hearing that it was the first time for him to see this breakdown and that he was commissioned by Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra and BI Commissioner Jaime Morente to "instill change" at the airport to combat corruption.
Medina, deputy commissioner Tobias Javier, and even intelligence division chief Fortunato Manahan all said they were not aware of such bribery.
After the Monday hearing, the BI announced it would investigate the revelations of alleged corruption.
Hontiveros earlier suggested the suspension of POGO operations because they “attract criminals” into the country.