Former Immigration Deputy Commissioner Red Mariñas allegedly pocketed large sums of money when he was still in the Bureau of Immigration (BI) and the issue of the ‘pastillas’ scheme was rampant.
Self-confessed Pastillas group member Jeff Ignacio said he was one of the 20 accused by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in the Office of the Ombudsman that only BI officials used them as “shields”, for mess up the issues and they will not be prosecuted.
It also revealed that the Pastillaa group has contact with the NBI and Ombudsman.
So far, the Senate has given Ignacio parliamentary immunity so that the controversies he has revealed to BI will not be used against him.
Former secretary of the Department of Justice (DoJ) Atty. Vitalliano Aguirre II attended the hearing of the case.
At the hearing, he asserted that he was not involved in the Pastillas scheme and that his name was not mentioned in previous hearings when whistleblower Allison Chiong testified.
Earlier, Ignacio himself confirmed that he was involved in the pastillas scam at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in the fourth quarter of 2017.
He said he initially refused to participate in the said scam but because he also experienced money problems he was forced to join. He allegedly served as the group’s “foot slider”.
The witness added that he received P5,000 to P20,000 in just one to two weeks.
According to Ignacio, the pastillas group is said to be “open secret” to the large profits received by their leaders from corrupt activities.
“Batay po sa aking personal na kaalaman at ito ay open secret na rin sa lahat ng miyembro ng Pastillas group, ang nagbabasbas, nagcocontrol ng Pastillas Scheme, at kumukubra ng maraming pera ay sina Sirs Marc Red Marinas, TCEU Head ng Terminal 1, 2, at 3 Erwin Ortanez, TCEU Head ng Terminal 1 Glennford Comia, TCEU Head ng Terminal 2 Benlado Guevarra, TCEU Head ng Terminal 3 Denden Binsol, Deputy TCEU head ng Terminal 2 Deon Carlo Albao, Deputy TCEU Head ng Terminal 2 Arlene Mendoza, at Deputy TCEU Head ng Terminal 3 Anthony Lopez. Ang supplier po ng mga Chinese ay sina Comia, Albao, Magbuhos, Binsol at Robles. Pagkatapos po ng expose ni Allison Chiong ay nakatanggap ako ng subpoena mula sa NBI. Pinatawag kaming nakatanggap ng subpoena ni Atty. Joel Ferrer at ng anak niya na si Jeff Ferrer, na alam ko ay mga lawyer na kinuha ni Sir Red Marinas,”said Ignacio.
He said the Ferrers told them to just leave the subpoena alone.
He added that on August 28, they called a meeting for those who received a subpoena from the NBI.
They allegedly met at Mazu Seafood Restaurant and there he met Atty. Capiral of the NBI, along with private attorney Atty. Patrick Penachos.