Senate committee to recommend lifestyle check on immigration officers amid 'pastillas' scheme

The Senate Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations, and Gender Equality, chaired by Senator Risa Hontiveros, will recommend the lifestyle check on immigration officials following the pastillas bribery scheme.

In a hearing on Monday, Hontiveros mentioned the recommendation after she questioned former Port Operations Division (POD) chief Marc Red Mariñas' involvement in the scheme.

Mariñas said that he is not involved in the pastillas bribery scheme. He added that Allison Chiong, the witness, took the video to insinuate malice.

Later on, it was revealed that POD – Special Operations Communications Unit head was Mariñas' father, Maynardo Mariñas.

Deputy Commissioner Atty. Tobias Javier said the father-son tandem is outside the norm but if it does not interfere with work, he thinks there is no problem.

Department of Justice's Atty. Yvette Coronel echoed Javier's statement.

Ramon Tulfo, the writer of the pastillas bribery exposé in a publication, bared that former Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II is the protector of the Mariñas.

He explained that there is a chartered helicopter that was being used to give Aguirre's share in the loot.

Moreover, Senator Hontiveros brought up Mariñas' irregular filing of his Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth. She inquired the former chief's expenses for his mayoral campaign to which the latter answered that he cannot recall.

Further, Hontiveros supports the move the modernize the Bureau of Immigration including the increase in the workers' wages.