Paolo Romero – The Philippine Star
January 21, 2023 | 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines — Bureau of Immigration (BI) officials in Clark airport appear to be involved in the trafficking of Filipinos to Cambodia, Sen. Risa Hontiveros said yesterday.
Recruiters would reportedly pay around P75,000 to P100,000 to BI officers for every Filipino they allow to exit without question, the senator said, citing information coming from “Miles,” one of the Filipinos trafficked to Cambodia to work as a cryptocurrency scammer for an alleged Chinese mafia.
“Our Senate inquiries on the pastillas scam resulted in the indictment of a number of BI officials, but it seems there are still groups or individuals within the agency who will stop at nothing to make an easy buck,” Hontiveros said, referring to a similar scheme with immigration officers at airports allowing Chinese nationals entry without proper screening or documentation.
Miles said that some of her fellow trafficking victims were instructed to exit the country from Clark, Pampanga, as the agent who recruited them had contacts with immigration officers in that airport.
Hontiveros said she was told by Miles that they were escorted by BI officers, who guided them to a particular lane where their colleagues stamped their passports without question.
Meanwhile, the BI is conducting an investigation to determine if at least three personnel – recently relieved from their posts for alleged human trafficking – are linked to trafficking syndicates in Cambodia and Myanmar, bureau spokesperson Dana Sandoval said during yesterday’s Laging Handa forum. – Robertzon Ramirez