DMIA clark field terminal

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima has ordered the dismissal from the service of 18 Bureau of Immigration personnel for alleged involvement in human trafficking and other illegal activities at the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport at Clark Field in Pampanga.

In a ruling on an administrative case, De Lima said she found credible the sworn statement of immigration officer Rachel Ong linking her fellow immigration officers to human trafficking activities at the airport.

The justice secretary said she believed the respondents were guilty of grave misconduct, conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service, dishonesty and gross neglect of duty.

“After careful evaluation of the arguments raised by both parties, this department finds that there exists substantial evidence to support the complaint of Ms. Ong,” De Lima said.

She said the defense of the erring immigration officers was merely “general denials, bereft of any compelling reasons to disregard the positive testimony of the witness.”

“We cannot and will not tolerate the presence of corrupt elements within our ranks who jeopardize our efforts in the war against human trafficking and graft and corruption,” she said.

Among those ordered dismissed were:

  • Heranio B. Manalo
  • Rey Alfred Y. Hernandez
  • Robin S. Pinzon
  • Romeo F. Dannug
  • Jose G. Melendrez
  • Adonis V. Fontanilla
  • Ramon B. Lapid
  • Evelyn O. Marinduque
  • Misael M. Tayag
  • Gaile Frances B. de Guzman-Sanglay.

Also separated were Jacqueline F. Miranda, Arlene Mendoza, James G. Guevarra, Sheryll P. Manguerra, Ramonsito G. Nuqui, Luisito Mercado, Leo Lugtu and Dante Aquino.

De Lima’s resolution nullified a previous ruling by former Justice Secretary Alberto Agra clearing the respondents of liability for irregularities at the airport.

The Interagency Council Against Trafficking said De Lima’s order was “a fair warning to all that the government is serious about its anti-trafficking campaign and violators will be meted out the full weight of the law.”

In her sworn statement, Ong said she had personal knowledge of the anomalies at the airport since she herself had helped facilitate illegal transactions involving incoming and outgoing passengers in connivance with the accused.

Ong, who turned state evidence, said the sacked BI personnel had been allowing passengers to enter and leave the country without having to present E6 visas and other travel documents.

She said they also let people on the DOJ’s “hold departure orders” and “watch-list orders” leave the country in exchange for money.

“Even without the requisite overseas employment contract, (they) allowed Filipinos to leave the country to work abroad,” Ong said.

“They also allowed female tourists from China and Korea to enter the country to work as entertainers, without the requisite documents,” she added.

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  • Jamal K

    Wow! after having read some articles regarding BI officers holding and offloading Pinoys from their flight who happened to have a Tourist Visa, now comes this news of BI Officers sacked being allegedly involved in human trafficking at Clark Airport……How about those BI OFFICERS who stopped or offloaded a passenger to board her flight and exit Pinas even if she has a valid tourist visa? THEY STILL EXISTS at Naia 1,2 and 3 and sits in their comfy chair an booth waiting for their next poor victim…..EVERY FILIPINO has a right to travel and exit her own country. A TOURIST VISA is being issued to an applicant by emabassies in Pinas of the host country once you have satisfied their requirement. UNLESS you have a hold order issued by DOJ, or you name is included in the BI’s list of hold for departure, nobody have the right to offload you or stop you from exiting the country.

  • Jamal K

    …in addition to the above, lets be real – some of those Pinoys who hold a tourist visa and tried to exit Pinas is really or have an intention to work abroad. However, once a person holds a tourist visa it’s unconstitutional to hold her or offload her from the flight due to assumption of she will work or intends to work abroad. You cant accused a person until proven guilty. HOLDING and OFFLOADING A PERSON FROM A FLIGHT IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL! The current administration and the rest of BI office is going berzerk and stupid. THIS IS WHAT YOU GET IF THE LEADER OF A COUNTRY STILL FINDS TIME TO DO KARAOKE while the rest of PINAS IS getting miserable and dirty….