Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente has denied allegations that the bureau is overcharging arriving ships in Port Capinpin in Orion, Bataan.
He made the statement following reports that shipping agents posing as Immigration personnel were charging an arriving vessel as much as P20,000 as payment for immigration inspection.
“We have monitored a social media post that reported an alleged corruption incident at the Bataan Port wherein ships were said to be overcharged $600 for immigration boarding formalities. I immediately ordered an investigation following the post,” Morente said.
According to Bayani Agosto Ferrer, alien control officer of BI Bataan, an inter-agency committee conducted an investigation to check the veracity of the report.
“When the documents were presented to us we were surprised to find that it was signed by a certain Conrado Bustamante and an Armichael Policarpio, and we have no employees with those names,” Ferrer said.
“They even had the audacity to give fake invoices using the BI’s logo to be able to illegally charge these fees.”
Ferrer said the fake employees also falsified the invoices of other government agencies.
Morente warned other agents not to attempt similar activities that he says were a form of extortion.
“We are studying possible legal action that we could take against these shipping agents that tarnish the name of the Bureau and commit these unscrupulous acts,” he said.