BI relieves 36 immigration officers, including head of detention facility
Thirty-six immigration officers, including the head of the facility, were relieved Friday by the Bureau of Immigration (BI) after six cell phones were confiscated from a Japanese suspect who is said to be “Luffy”, leader of a series of robberies in Japan, in a detention facility.
Dana Krizia Sandoval, BI spokesperson, confirmed this in a message to the Daily Manila Shimbun.
Sandoval said the warden should take responsibility for tolerating the unauthorized use of gadgets by detainees at the warden facility.
“Well, of course, the responsibility lies on the head of the warden facility. Because if it’s this massive then there must be something going on. We have replaced the head and all the people inside the facility. We replaced them with new employees,” she told dzBB.
Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla, in an ambush interview, said the justice department will look into the BI.
''After this, we will go about our business of looking into the Bureau of Immigration. This experience has taught us a lot of lessons about things that are being done, should not be done in a detention facility and cases about this nature,'' he said.
“The use of gadgets in the warden facility is only allowed prior to the approval of the commissioner. So they need to have authorization from the commissioner,” Sandoval said.
“But since Commissioner (Norman) Tansingco assumed his post, he has not received any request or application for the approval of the use of gadgets in the facility. So obviously, their usage is unauthorized,” she added.
Sandoval said the BI conducts raids regularly and the last one was conducted in January last year.
She said during these raids, they are able to confiscate gadgets, sharp objects, and even construction materials.
“The (immigration) commissioner saw that the system needed a revamp and they need to study why these activities are happening until now inside the facility,” Sandoval said.
Sandoval said they have placed CCTVs in the facility and Immigration Commissioner Norman Tansingco will go the facility to see the kind of improvements needed.
Sandoval said unauthorized use of gadgets and other objects was a “cause for concern”.
“We see that it’s really something to be prioritized by the Bureau because it’s a concern already if it’s being abused by these kinds of syndicates or criminals here in the country,” Sandoval said. Jaspearl Tan/DMS