|David backs probe of BI men who defied OFW ban to Syria|
June 24, 2012
The Bureau of Immigration (BI0 assured today that it fully supports the investigation into the alleged involvement of immigration officers in facilitating the departure of undocumented overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to Syria despite a government ban.
In a statement, Immigration Commissioner Ricardo David Jr. said the BI will continue cooperating with officials of the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) in probing the immigration officers allegedly responsible for allowing the OFWs to go to Syria.
“We assure the public that this bureau under my watch will not tolerate these shenanigans. Employees who connive with human traffickers and illegal recruiters will be dismissed from the service,” he declared.
The BI chief was reacting to a disclosure by Vice President Jejomar Binay, who chairs the IACAT, that 14 BI personnel at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) were issued show-cause orders for not enforcing the deployment ban to Syria.
David promised not to lift a finger to intervene or influence the IACAT probe, saying the BI management itself is actively waging a campaign to purge its ranks of corrupt personnel.
In fact, he said it was the BI which provided the IACAT with the names of BI personnel whose departure stamps were found on the passports of OFWs the repatriated from Syria and that it was the bureau’s anti-fraud division which certified that the stamps were genuine.
He added that airport immigration officials assisted IACAT personnel in interviewing the OFWs upon arriving at the NAIA.
David said there is not letup in BI’s anti-corruption drive at the NAIA as he cited the periodic rotation in assignments of immigration officers and the recall of several employees who have derogatory records or are subjects of administrative complaints.
Just recently, he sternly warned NAIA-BI personnel that stiff disciplinary action will be taken against anyone who facilitates the departure of a human trafficking victim and those who intentionally fail to encode the names of departing passengers in the bureau’s computer database.
David also implemented the dismissal from the service last year of 19 immigration officers allegedly involved in human trafficking at the Clark airport in Pampanga.###