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Delikado sa Camp Bagong Diwa: Ex-BI Commissioners in P50-M bribery scandal ask to be detained at Crame

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By: James Hernandez

Saying that being fraternity brothers of President Rodrigo Duterte earned them enemies, former deputy immigration commissioners Al Argosino and Michael Robles believe they would be safer at the Custodial Center of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Cram Crame, Quezon City.

Argosino and Robles, both detained in Camp Bagoing DIwa in Taguig City, filed the motion seeking their transfer to the PNP Custodial even though the Sandiganbayan has already turned down a similar request of their fellow inmate, alleged pork barrel scam queen Janet Lim Napoles.

In their motion they filed before the Sandiganbayan 6th Division, they pointed out that it is public knowledge that they were both “appointed by and fraternity brothers of Honorable President Rodrigo Duterte.”

“President Duterte’s extensive campaign against illegal drugs aka tokhang led to the arrest of hundreds of persons allegedly engaged in drug trade and/or drug use and are detained in various regular facilities nationwide including Quezon City Jail Annex in Camp Bagong Diwa,” they said.

“Likewise, these arrested persons pose serious threat for they may inflict harm to the Accused as an act of reprisal to the war on drugs of the government,” they added.

Argosino and Robles have been detained Tuesday (April 10) over a non-bailable plunder charge for receiving P50 million bribe money from Chinese gambling tycoon Jack Lam in exchange for assistance in the release of 1,316 illegal Chinese workers.

Their co-accused, alleged Lam middleman and retired police official Wally Sombero, also surrendered and detained Wednesday (April 11) in Camp Bagoing Diwa but also intends to seek transfer to the PNP Custodial Center.

The PNP said its Custodial Center is reserved for high-profile inmates whose cases were of national interest. It currently holds former Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. who is facing charges over the pork barrel scam.

Previously, the Sandiganbayan denied Napoles request to be transferred to the custody of the Witness Protection Program (WPP).

She is facing multiple charges including plunder in connection with the pork barrel scam.