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Gordon says Sombero attemped to indirectly bribe Aguirre

GMA News Online logo GMA News Online 2/17/2017 Galarpe, Karen
Senator Richard Gordon, chair of the Senate blue ribbon committee, on Thursday, February 16, 2017, presides over the resumption of the Senate inquiry on the bribery scandal currently hounding the Bureau of Immigration involving casino operator Jack Lam. Benjie Castro © Benjie Castro Senator Richard Gordon, chair of the Senate blue ribbon committee, on Thursday, February 16, 2017, presides over the resumption of the Senate inquiry on the bribery scandal currently hounding the Bureau of Immigration involving casino operator Jack Lam. Benjie Castro

Senator Richard Gordon on Friday said Wally Sombero might have attempted 'indirect bribery' on Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II during their meeting at a posh hotel in Parañaque City.

"'Yung tinatawag na parang 'indirect bribery' attempt na may malaki akong kliyente, mayaman ito. Para bang you're dazzling the secretary na 'makinig ka' sakaling may pera tayo diyan," Gordon said in an interview over News to Go.

Gordon also pointed out that Sombero was a good police officer: "He's a salesman. He's a good officer from what I hear. I do not disregard at hindi ko minamaliit 'yung mga nag-tetestigo sa harap natin, ginagalang natin."

"Sa akin ang laro niya doon is parang kumuha siya ng mga principals...Parang eto makakalapit 'to. Siguro nabalitaan na pupunta siya sa Immigration. Parang seduction to corrupt shoulders," Gordon added.

During the resumption of the Senate blue ribbon committee hearing on the bribery scandal on Thursday, Gordon said Aguirre should have had Sombero arrested for his attempt to bribe him. 

"Kung hinampas kaagad ni Sec. Aguirre 'yang sinabi niyang karakot na 'yan, baka si Argosino hindi na naglakas ng loob na tumuloy pa na kumuha ng P50 million right after that sa City of Dreams," Gordon said.

"Dapat sabihin mo kaagad na hindi na uubra 'yung gagawin mo. At dahil ikaw ay Secretary of Justice, dapat 'dadalhin ko 'yung NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) dito, iimbestigahan para malaman ko kung bina-bribe mo ko.' Dapat ganon," Gordon added.

Although Aguirre on Thursday insisted that no act of bribery was done, he also reiterated that Sombero did not directly offer him a bribe and no money was brought during the meeting.

"Bakit hindi pinaaresto? Kasi wala pang crime na kino-commit. Kung sinabi na puwede ba kayo mag-ninong kay Jack Lam tapos may bitbit na P20 million, 'yun ang overt act," Aguirre said.

Gordon, meanwhile stated that they do not have a case to file yet against Jack Lam. He said that it was not clear what violation Lam has done. 

"Right now, I don't know kung meron tayong hearing. Wala pa naman tayong fina-file na kaso sa kanya. At 'yun nga ang tinatanong ko—ano bang kaso ang ifa-file natin kay Jack Lam?" Gordon said.

The Senate blue ribbon committee is investigating the alleged bribery and extortion scandal involving former Immigration officials Al Argosino and Michael Robles.

The alleged bribe was in exchange for the release from detention of more than 1,000 Chinese nationals arrested in Clark, Pampanga in November 2016. The Chinese nationals were allegedly involved in online gaming in Jack Lam's operations inside Fontana resort in Clark, Pampanga.

Sombero on Thursday said Argosino asked for P100 million and was given P50 million at the City of Dreams.

He however denied bribing the ex-Immigration officials. —Marlly Rome C. Bondoc/KG, GMA News

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