NBI official charged over âpastillasâ scam
NBI legal division chief Joshua Paul Capiral holds a copy of the complaint filed against him and his brother Christopher John before the Department of Justice yesterday.
Edd Gumban
NBI official charged over ‘pastillas’ scam
Marc Jayson Cayabyab (The Philippine Star) - September 24, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The National Bureau of Investigation yesterday filed criminal charges against an NBI official for allegedly receiving bribes from individuals involved in the money-making scheme “pastillas” in the Bureau of Immigration (BI).

Joshua Paul Capiral, chief of the NBI legal assistance division, and his brother immigration officer Christopher John were apprehended during an entrapment operation after they received P200,000 in marked money on Monday.

Charges of graft, robbery and extortion as well as violation of Republic Act 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees were filed against the Capiral brothers before the Department of Justice (DOJ), according to NBI Special Action Unit chief Emeterio Dongallo Jr.

Dongallo said the suspects would be investigated by the DOJ for violating Executive Order 608, which established a national clearance system for government personnel with access to classified matters.

Capiral allegedly charged up to P200,000 per respondent in exchange for dropping the case against the suspects in the pastillas scam, Dongallo said.

Capiral’s brother allegedly served as his contact in the BI.

Dongallo refused to name the respondent who bribed Capiral, adding that charges may be filed against the suspect for bribery and corruption of public officials.

According to the NBI, Capiral allegedly offered his legal services to those involved in the pastillas racket.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said the arrest of the Capiral brothers should serve as a warning to government employees that corruption would not be tolerated.

Disbarment case

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon asked the NBI to file a disbarment case against Capiral.

Capiral allegedly accepted bribes from BI officers tagged in a purported illegal escort service at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

“It’s a shame. It’s called bantay salakay. Those who are assigned to investigate corrupt practices are the ones who commit corruption,” Drilon said.

Drilon, a lawyer and former justice secretary, said Capiral is a disgrace to the legal profession.

“This is one of the reasons why Filipinos are losing faith in the ability of the government to fight corruption,” Drilon lamented. “This only shows how rampant corruption is today.”

The senator also called for a top-to-bottom revamp of BI officials.

The NBI has filed a complaint for graft against 19 immigration officers and an owner of a travel agency over the pastillas scheme, which allows easy access of foreigners, mostly Chinese, at the country’s airports in exchange for money. – Evelyn Macairan, Cecille Suerte Felipe

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