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Bribes were offered for the release of 1300 Chinese workers

Philippines authorities had been reportedly offered bribes of up to P200,000 (US$4,000) for the release of each of the 1,316 Chinese nationals arrested in an illegal gambling raid in Clark Field last week, local media reports.

The bribes, which would have amounted to approximately P263.2 million (US$5.3 million), was reported by Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II, adding he would not allow operators offering bribes to undermine what he said was a “major blow” against businessmen who use illegal aliens for local operations.

“...we will not be deterred. We will be uncompromising in our fight against crime and corruption,” he said.

The Chinese workers have been charged with overstaying, working violation of the limitations and conditions of their visa, and engaging in an unlicensed online gaming business, said Bureau of Immigration (BI) spokesperson Tonette Mangrobang.

Jack Lam accused

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II has directly accused Macau-gambling tycoon Jack Lam of attempting to bribe him just a few days after authorities cracked down on the Chinese nationals working at his Clark Freeport casino.

Aguirre said the bribe would offer him P100 million a month, according to a report from the Inquirer.

Lam attempted to pay him off during a meeting at Bonifacio Global City on Saturday, according to Aguirre.

Speaking through two interpreters and a former police officer, Lam said he had been looking for a “ninong”, or godfather in government to protect his gaming operations.

Aguirre said former police officer Wally Sombrero asked him if he wanted to be Lam’s ninong, a proposal that he turned down immediately.

Pagcor chair Andrea Domingo was also offered a bribe, said the justice secretary.

He said Domingo told him she was offered a bribe to allow Fontana Leisure Parks and Casino at Clark to continue its online gaming operations while it was applying for a license.

Domingo said she was offered a one percent cut of casino earnings.

Aguirre says the most recent bribe attempts aimed at the Bureau of Immigration (BI) was also orchestrated by the Macau gaming tycoon.

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