MANILA – Former immigration associate commissioners Al Argosino and Michael Robles have withdrawn their bribery complaint against Macau-based gaming tycoon Jack Lam and four others, saying the complaint had been based on “mistaken assumption or misinterpretation of facts and circumstances.”
The complaint for alleged violation of Republic Act 4200 arose from an alleged attempt by Lam and his emissaries to pay them off, with P50 million, to settle the case involving the hiring of undocumented Chinese workers at Lam’s casino resort in Clark Field, Pampanga in late 2016.
A Senate blue ribbon inquiry, however, had raked over the coals as well the two associate commissioners, who had taken nearly two weeks to return the supposed bribe to their boss, Bureau of Immigration chief Jaime Morente, and the Department of Justice.
In a verified motion to withdraw complaint lodged by lawyer Raymond Fortun with the DOJ Monday (Sept. 4), Argosino and Robles said they were constrained to retreat because “parties to the instant complaint executed affidavits of recantation and clarification which materially affect the instance case.”
Furthermore, Argosino and Robles said, a “review of the affidavits would show that the instant complaint was likewise based on mistaken assumptions and misinterpretation of facts and circumstances.”
In view of these, the two ex-BI executives said they are retreating from “pursuing the instance case, now and in the future.”
The complaint for corruption of public officers and violation of RA 4200 was filed, while the Senate probe was ongoing, against Dr. Lam Yin also known as Jack Lam, and four others – gaming consultant Wenceslao Sombero, former BI intelligence chief Charles Calima Jr., Norman Yang and Alexander Yu.
During the Senate hearings, Sombero had said that Lam through officials of his Clark Fontana casino resort had released millions in pesos, but the funds were meant to process the legal cases of the casino workers, whom they wanted released from detention by the BI.