Sandiganbayan junks ex-BI official's plea to dismiss plunder case


Posted at May 31 2018 03:28 PM

MANILA - The Sandiganbayan 6th Division on Thursday junked former Bureau of Immigration Commissioner Al Argosino's bid to dismiss his plunder case in connection with the P50-million bribery scandal involving the release of illegal Chinese workers in Pampanga.

In its ruling dated May 29, the anti-graft court said it dismissed Argosino's motion to quash the charges against him for lack of merit. 

Argosino and his fellow former BI Commissioner Michael Robles are facing plunder, graft and direct bribery charges for allegedly taking P50 million in bribes from Chinese businessman Jack Lam for the release of Chinese nationals illegally working at the latter's leisure parks in Pampanga in 2016.

Lam and retired policeman Wally Sombero, who allegedly acted as middleman in the supposed transaction, were also charged in the case. 

Argosino earlier asked the Sandiganbayan to dismiss his case, claiming the information used by the Ombudsman were not sufficient to establish the crime of plunder.

But the court said elements of plunder were present in the case such as the allegation is against a public official accused of amassing P50 million in ill-gotten wealth through a series of transactions. 

Lam and Argosino are currently detained at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City.

-- report from Joyce Balancio, ABS-CBN News