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‘Pastillas’ men placed under suspension

Francis Wakefield

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Ombudsman Samuel Martires yesterday announced that he has imposed a six-month preventive suspension without pay against 45 officials and personnel of the Bureau of Immigration for their alleged involvement in the “pastillas” scheme.

In a phone interview, Martires said he signed the suspension order on Monday, 26 October, and forwarded it to the Office of Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente for its immediate implementation.

He said the Department of Justice also has a copy of the order.

“I don’t want to give you further statements. That’s it. We issued a preventive suspension order,” the Ombudsman said.

“Yes, they are those involved in the pastillas scam. I don’t want to make any further comment. That was served yesterday,” he stressed.

Senator Risa Hontiveros earlier launched a Senate investigation on the alleged seamless entry of Chinese nationals in the Philippines in exchange for P10,000, which were given to immigration officers rolled up in bond paper, resembling “pastillas.”

This was linked to the cases of sexual trafficking in the country where women were being paid for special services to foreign workers, mostly Chinese nationals.

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