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Former police official Wally Sombero, the alleged middleman of Chinese gambling lord Jack Lam, has cleared Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II of any involvement in the alleged bribery of two former Bureau of Immigration officials.

Sombero said Aguirre was innocent through a text message he sent to the Justice Secretary shortly after the Senate blue ribbon committee resumed its hearing on the case Tuesday (Jan. 31).

“May I read for the record because Wally Sombero texted me at 10:55 in the morning and may I read for the record (his message which reads) ‘sir, for the record, I’m watching the hearing. I have the same words as Gen. Calima had texted you. I’m clearing you of any knowledge of this extortion scandal. I will be working on my best to attend the next hearing. I already sent a letter to Sen. Gordon. TY po’,” Aguirre said.

The Cabinet official read Sombero’s supposed text to him after Senator Leila de Lima asked him if he had known either Lam or Sombero.

Aguirre said he was unaware of who the two persons were before their meeting at Bonifacio Global City last November.

Despite Sombero’s text clearing Aguirre, Senator Richard Gordon, the committee chair, said the Justice Secretary is not yet off the hook until Lam’s supposed envoy testifies on this matter under oath in their proceedings.

“We will see until he (Sombero) gets here. ‘Yan ang hinihintay ko pagdating ni Sombero. Dyan natin malalaman lahat. I have not closed the case because Sombero is the key person here because he’s the one who’s been operating here for a long time. Matagal na syang nag-o-operate,” Gordon said.