Former police officer Wenceslao “Wally” Sombero claimed that former Bureau of Immigration (BI) Deputy Commissioner Al Argosino had demanded the amount of P 50 million from Chinese gambling tycoon Jack Lam.
This was supposedly in exchange for the release of Lam’s 1,300 workers who were arrested last year for working illegally at Fontana Casino and Leisure Park in Clark, Pampanga.
Sombero, who is said to have facilitated the transaction on behalf of Lam, made this statement during his testimony at the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing on Thursday morning.
Sombero said Argosino asked for the money after meeting last November between him, Lam, Lam’s two interpreters and Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre in a hotel in Pasig City.
He described the transaction as a “payoff” and that the fund was for “goodwill” and not a bribe or extortion money.
Sombero said Lam found the demand money too high.
Later on , Argosino and Lam's camp had supposedly agreed to set the initial amount at P 50 million.