De Lima bares Wang Bo’s bogus charges to delay deportation
Video by Marc Jayson Cayabyab/INQUIRER.net
JUSTICE Secretary Leila De Lima on Tuesday revealed that accused crime lord Wang Bo resorted to bogus charges to delay the deportation order against him over alleged illegal transnational gambling.
During the House of Representatives probe on the alleged payoff from Wang Bo to immigration officials , De Lima said the deportation order against Wang Bo by the Chinese embassy was held in abeyance due to the pending estafa charges filed against him by a certain Jose Chua.
De Lima found the charges suspicious because the first estafa charge was filed on Feb. 11 or a day after Wang Bo was apprehended at the airport for being included in the blacklist order due to a canceled passport.
The first charge alleged that Wang Bo owed Chua P3-million.
But the same complainant filed an amended estafa charge the next day demanding Wang Bo to return the P3 million Chua paid to the former for a purchase of a land in Bacoor, Cavite, the title of which turned out to be fake, De Lima said.
“Mr. Chua and his counsels realized that hindi tama ang basis ng estafa simply because may utang ka, it simply won’t fly so they have to come out with another story,” De Lima said.
What she found suspicious, De Lima said, is that the lawyer Bryan Bantilan who represented Chua in the estafa charge against Wang Bo is the same lawyer who represented Wang Bo during the inquest proceedings before the Bureau of Immigration.
De Lima said the estafa charge was dismissed by the city prosecutor of Manila because the complainant did not appear during the hearing on May 29.
“What is so suspicious to me is that the very same lawyer who wrote the demand letter to Wang Bo is the very same lawyer who represented Wang Bo during the inquest proceedings,” De Lima said.
“This is obvious. Hindi lang sa hitsura ng complaint, one page complaint lang na bogus. The city prosecutor of Manila already dismissed this complaint for nonappearance of the complainant. Again, another instance lending credence to our suspicions that the complaint is clearly bogus,” De Lima said.
The Secretary said the March 5 summary deportation was not immediately implemented because of the pending estafa charge that turned out to be bogus.
De Lima said a summary deportation order is usually implemented within five days.
“They should have immediately executed the summary deportation order but they could not because of this alleged complaint in accordance with existing policy that even if this is a complaint pending within the country, you cannot just deport a subject of deportation,” De Lima said.
De Lima rebuked the Immigration officials for failing to check the charges against Wang Bo to determine if these were bogus or not.
She said had the bureau immediately implemented the deportation, the Philippine government would no longer have the problem of taking into custody Wang Bo as he faced allegations that he paid off immigration officials for his release, and that the payoffs were intended for the Liberal Party’s campaign kitty in 2016 and to bribe lawmakers into passing the proposed Basic Bangsamoro Law.
“This is a simple matter of summary deportation… Wala na sana itong lahat kung dineport kaagad within a reasonable period from the issuance of the March 5 summary deportation order,” De Lima said.
Wang Bo is wanted by the Chinese government for alleged transnational gambling and is now a subject of a deportation order, which was held in abeyance due to the bribery charges and the estafa charge lodged against him.
Attending the House probe, Wang Bo denied that he bribed Immigration associate commissioners Abdullah Mangotara and Gilberto Repizo for his release and that the said payoff was intended to sweeten the ruling administration Liberal Party’s campaign kitty.
De Lima had intervened and reinstated the summary deportation order after Repizo and Mangotara outvoted BI commissioner Siegfred Mison for the release of Wang Bo.
The Chinese national also denied that the payoff was used to bribe lawmakers in the House of Representatives for the swift passage of the BBL draft, which seeks to create a more politically autonomous region for Moro Mindanao.
The House probe stemmed from The Standard newspaper report which alleged that Wang paid the BI at least P100 million to secure his release after the bureau initially ordered his deportation, and another P440 million for lawmakers.
That P440 million was allocated to pay off the 292 lawmakers in the lower chamber (P1.5 million each) for their vote for the controversial BBL draft.
Wang is wanted for allegedly embezzling $100 million and is suspected of opening casinos for transnational gambling.
The Standard report said bags of cash were allegedly unloaded at the rear entrance of the House of Representatives and these were brought to the office of Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr.
It further said the CCTV footage of the incident that supposedly occurred from Monday to Wednesday two weeks ago has been overwritten.
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