By Jeffrey Damicog
Three dismissed Department of Justice (DOJ) employees were found to have forged the signatures of officials in bogus documents used to facilitate visas for Chinese nationals in exchange for large sums of money.
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said this was discovered by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) during the course of its investigation against job order employee Cyruz Morota, executive assistant Abvic Ryan Maghirang and administrative aide Shigred Erigbuagas.
“The NBI will be filing the necessary charges against the parties at the soonest possible time,” Aguirre assured in a statement.
The secretary learned the three fired personnel, who all worked in the office of Justice Undersecretary Erickson Balmes, began committing the criminal acts sometime in September last year.
“During the course of the investigation by the agents of the NBI, it was determined that a spurious letter containing the forged signature of Usec. Balmes with a fake stamp as received marking of the Office of the Commissioner, Bureau of Immigration, dated December 18, 2017 was presented by the perpetrators to the Chinese nationals as proof that their respective quota visa applications had been filed,” said Aguirre.
However, Balmes only learned of the activities last February 1 and confronted the three personnel.
In the presence of Balmes, Undersecretary Raymund Mecate, and NBI officials including Director Dante Gierran, the three confessed their involvement in the purported processing of the quota visas of six Chinese nationals in exchange for large sums of money.
The three former DOJ employees, however, assured that no applications for the quota visas were filed nor processed.
Balmes then sought immediate action from Aguirre including the firing of the three personnel and placing them in the Immigration Lookout Bulletin Order.