18 Immigration personnel face suspension over extortion try

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MANILA — Bureau of Immigration (BI) Commissioner Jaime Morente has asked the Department of Justice (DOJ) to put under preventive suspension its eighteen (18) personnel allegedly involved in an extortion attempt on 15 Koreans in Angeles, Pampanga last month.

Morente recommended that the operatives be suspended, pending the results of an investigation on the alleged extortion during a law enforcement operation, in response to the order of President Rodrigo Duterte.

“Extortion is a violation of our oath of service. We cannot allow such instances to go unpunished,” he said in a statement on Saturday.

“We have requested the DOJ, which is our mother department, to issue the suspension order,” Morente added.

Several Koreans have filed a complaint against the BI 18 agents before the Office of the President (OP) and the DOJ.

Morente noted that the agents face both administrative and criminal charges.

“We have our Board of Discipline to recommend to the DOJ sanctions against these employees, if proven guilty,” he said.

“We have also requested the NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) to conduct a separate probe against them for filing of criminal charges,” he added.

Morente reiterated that the agency is “serious in sweeping its ranks” and vows to rid the agency of corrupt and erring personnel.

“The President’s directive is clear, we will weed out corruption in the BI. No one will be spared,” he said.-PNA

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