Duterte summons alleged erring Immigration personnel; asks them to eat "pastillas"
President Rodrigo Duterte has summoned some 40 personnel of the Bureau of Immigration allegedly involved in the "pastillas" bribery controversy to Malacanang.
In a televised press briefing on Tuesday, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said during the meeting on Monday, Duterte ordered his aide to distribute pastillas-like rolled money to each of the Immigration staff an told to eat them.
He said Duterte "did not force those from the BI to eat the pastillas money. But the President said that corruption should be stopped."
"That giving of pastillas, that's also symbolic of his anger against corruption...I think the message has been received because not a single person out of the 40 individuals there uttered even a single word," he said.
The Senate has conducted an investigation over the bribery and other corrupt schemes at the BI.
Some P40 billion was allegedly amassed by alleged masterminds in the ''pastillas'' bribery scheme involving Chinese nationals arriving in the country.
All the 40 BI personnel summoned in Malacanang are either suspended or have been charged by the Office of the Ombudsman in relation to the ''pastillas'' controversy.
Roque said Duterte told the Immigration personnel just to defend themselves in court.
Also present during the meeting were Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea and Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, among others.
The BI is an agency attached to the Department of Justice.
Roque said Duterte told Guevarra, who is heading the expanded task force against corruption, to continue with its investigation at the BI.
He said Guevarra also appealed to Congress to amend the Philippine Immigration Law of 1940. Celerina Monte/DMS