Guevarra supports lifestyle check of BI personnel
MANILA, Philippines? — Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Wednesday said he supports the call of Senator Risa Hontiveros to subject Bureau of Immigration (BI) personnel to a lifestyle check after it was revealed that some of them might be involved in the “pastillas scheme.”
The “pastillas” modus involves an escort service operation being operated by some BI personnel that caters to Chinese nationals wanting to work at the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operations (POGO).
“I support Sen. Hontiveros’ recommendation to conduct such a lifestyle check on suspected corrupt personnel of the BI in the same way that lifestyle checks are conducted on suspected BIR (Bureau of Internal Revenue), BoC (Bureau of Customs) and other government officials and employees,” Guevarra told reporters.
However, he said, “a lifestyle check is not conclusive but only indicative of a government employee’s possible unethical conduct.”
While the lifestyle check is not conclusive of one’s involvement in anomalies, Guevarra said the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is already conducting an investigation.
“I have asked the NBI Chief to submit progress reports on these matters to me asap,” Guevarra added.