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Immigration under close DoJ watch

Bainto added that he is certain that any additional inclusion to the list will also be made public

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The Bureau of Immigration (BI) is under close scrutiny by the Department of Justice (DoJ) as a result of the involvement of its personnel to the controversial pastillas scheme.

DoJ Undersecretary Neal Bainto disclosed this shortly after the memorandum of agreement (MoA) for the deployment of resident ombudsmen was signed by the DoJ, Office of the Ombudsman (OMB) and Commission on Audit (CoA).

The deployment of resident Ombudsmen was agreed upon after the Task Force Against Corruption (TFAC) was ordered formed by President Rodrigo Duterte to address the problem of corruption in government agencies.

At least five government agencies were initially included in the list which was being investigated for the possible involvement of personnel with graft and corrupt practices.

The anti-corruption task force led by the DoJ identified as graft-prone the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), the Bureau of Customs (BoC), the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), the Land Registration Authority (LRA) and the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation or PhilHealth.

The DoJ, OMB and CoA signed on Wednesday, 8 September, the long-awaited MoA which will deputize DoJ prosecutors and CoA auditors and deploy them as resident ombudsmen to the initial five agencies.

Other agencies that will later be identified as graft-prone or with high corruption risk will also be deployed with resident ombudsmen.

Bainto said the identification of the five agencies in the MoA (DPWH, BoC, BIR, LRA and PhilHealth), as the graft prone agencies for investigation was from prior resolutions of the TFAC.

Meanwhile, Bainto said cases have already been filed against those involved in the pastillas scheme before the DoJ and the Ombudsman.

He said that nonetheless, as mentioned in the MoA, the OMB, the CoA, and the DoJ can deliberate and include other agencies in the list, even including the BI, where resident ombudsmen will be deployed.

Bainto added that he is certain that any additional inclusion to the list will also be made public.

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