Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente ordered the preventive suspension of 18 BI intelligence officers who allegedly extorted P9 million from 15 Koreans arrested in Angeles, Pampanga.
Morente said the operatives were suspended pending the results of an investigation on the alleged extortion during a law enforcement operation.
The Korean victims filed a complaint to the Office of the President and the Department of Justice against the immigration operatives who asked P9 million for their freedom.
“Extortion is a violation of our oath of service. We cannot allow such instances to go unpunished,” said Morente. “We have requested the DOJ, which is our mother department, to issue the suspension order,” he added.
According to Morente, 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 to conduct a separate probe against them for filing of criminal charges.”
Morente reiterated that the agency is “serious in sweeping its ranks” and vows to rid of corrupt and erring personnel.
“The President’s directive is clear, we will weed out corruption in the BI. No one will be spared,” Morente said.