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Baliktad na ang mundo! Argosino becomes main plunderer in P50M plunder case

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By James Hernandez

Former deputy immigration commissioner Al Argosino has been named as the main plunderer in the plunder case concerning the P50 million bribery scandal at the Bureau of Immigration (BI).

The Sandiganbayan 6th Division has issued a resolution granting the amendments made by the Office of the Ombudsman in the plunder charge sheet which now named Argosino as the main plunderer.

Under the amendments made, Argosino has been accused of having acted “by himself and/or in conspiracy with” former deputy immigration commissioner Michael Robles and retired police official Wally Sombero in amassing ill-gotten wealth amounting to P50 million.

The amended charge now adheres with the Supreme Court (SC) ruling that a main plunderer should be identified in a plunder case.

The SC declared this in its July 2016 ruling which acquitted former President and current Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo from a plunder case she was also facing before the Sandiganbayan.

Apart from plunder, the three accused have been charged with graft, direct bribery and violation of Presidential Decree No. 46 which punishes public officials for receiving gifts from private individuals

The case stemmed from the P50 million Sombero allegedly handed to Argosino and Robles in November 2016.

The money alleged came from Chinese casino mogul Jack Lam in exchange for the release 1,316 illegal Chinese workers arrested in Fontana Leisure Parks and Casino in Clark, Pampanga.