By Joel R. San Juan, April 12 2019; Business Mirror

Image Credit to ABS-CBN News

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has ordered the immediate termination of eight job order (JO) Bureau of Immigration (BI) workers implicated in the extortion of more than P9.2 million from 15 South Korean nationals.

In a news statement sent to reporters late on Wednesday, Justice Undersecretary Markk Perete said that “upon review of the terms of engagement of the JO contractors and the evidence adduced against them, the Justice Secretary [Menardo Gueverra] found that factual and legal bases exist for the immediate termination of their contracts.”

In a complaint, 15 Korean nationals said a team of 18 BI officers and employees apprehended them in Korean Town, Angeles City, Pampanga, on March 6.

The Korean nationals filed a complaint to the Office of the President  and the Department of Justice (DOJ) against the BI intelligence officers for apprehending them despite having proper documents and brought them to the BI main office where they were forced to shell out various sums of money under threat of detention.

The other 10 BI officers allegedly involved in the incident have been placed under preventive suspension pending final result of the investigation on the matter.

BI Spokesman Dana Krizia Sandoval earlier said the agency will decide appropriate criminal and administrative actions against them within three months.

“The ten BI officers and employees are now subject to proceedings to determine their administrative liability for grave misconduct and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service,” Perete said.

Meanwhile, the BI Commissioner Jaime Morente has disclosed that a probe is now being undertaken on corruption allegations hurled against certain airport personnel.

Morente issued the statement after receiving information that that some BI officials posted at the Port Operations Division (POD) may be involved in human trafficking.

“We will elevate this to the Department of Justice, our mother department, for investigation,” Morente said.

“We suspect that other agencies may be included in this complaint as well, as anti-trafficking efforts is a shared responsibility of all members of the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking,” he added.