Friday, August 6, 2010

Controversies push Dept of Justice to revamp Philippine Bureau of Immigration

The Department of Justice has recalled several immigration officials to the mother unit amid various controversies affecting the Bureau of Immigration.

Most affected from these changes are those posted at the airports, as Bureau of Immigration officer-in-charge Ronaldo Ledesma also ordered a total revamp including the recall of senior immigration officer and chief of the airport operations division (AOD) Ferdinand Sampol.

Lawyer Arvin Cesar Santos was designated acting chief of the BI-AOD.

In a press release, the Department of Justice also revoked the designation of lawyer Edgardo Mendoza as assistant commissioner.

It also revoked the contracts of Franklin Littaua and Teodoro Delarmente, previously delegated as special assistant to the commissioner and technical assistant to the commissioner, respectively.

The Bureau of Immigration has been on the news recently following the allegations of Rachelle Ong, who alleged that some immigration officials are involved in human trafficking at the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport.

Recently, officials and personnel have also been lambasted for failing to detect the drugs found in the care of Ilocos Sur 1st District Rep. Ronald Singson in Hong Kong.

Justice Undersecretary Jose Vicente Salazar, chairman of the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT), said the top-to-bottom movements in the BI are part of the DoJ’s no-nonsense campaign against human trafficking elements.

Salazar is the undersecretary-in-charge of the BI.

He said some BI officials and personnel have long been conniving with syndicates, earning the country strict monitoring from the US State Department.

Last June, the US placed the country in its tier 2 watch list, saying a number of victims is “very significant or is significantly increasing.”

It also said the country has not implemented significant efforts to meet the standards of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act.

Posted via email from Aviation Professionals dot Org

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