Middleman in bribery scandal Wally Sombero surrenders

Published April 11, 2018, 5:18 PM

by AJ Siytangco

 

By Martin Sadongdong

The alleged middleman in the reported P50-million bribery case involving gaming tycoon Jack Lam and sacked Bureau of Immigration (BI) officers surrendered Wednesday morning to the Philippine National Police (PNP) amid threats on his life.

Retired Senior Superintendent Wenceslao (Wally) Sombero Jr., a former police officer at the PNP’s Crime Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), yielded to incoming PNP chief and National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) Director Oscar Albayalde and CIDG Director Roel Obusan at the PNP national headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City.

Wenceslao "Wally" Sombero, the alledged middleman in the reported P50 million bribery case involving gaming tycoon Jack Lam and resigned Bureau of Immigration (B.I.) officers, surrendered to incoming PNP Chief, NCRPO Regional Dir. Gen Oscar Albayalde, at Camp Crame in QUezon City, April 11, 2018. (Mark Balmores / MANILA BULLETIN)
Wenceslao “Wally” Sombero, the alleged middleman in the reported P50 million bribery case involving gaming tycoon Jack Lam and sacked Bureau of Immigration (B.I.) officers, surrendered to incoming PNP Chief, NCRPO Regional Dir. Gen Oscar Albayalde, at Camp Crame in QUezon City, April 11, 2018. (Mark Balmores / MANILA BULLETIN)

Albayalde said that two retired senior officers of PNP called him last April 10 and said that Sombero was willing to submit himself to authorities.

“I received a phone call from the two retired senior police officers and they are the ones who facilitated the surrender,” Albayalde said, as he requested the names of the two retired officers not be divulged.

Sombero’s surrender came after the Sandiganbayan Sixth Division issued an arrest order Tuesday against him and ex-Immigration commissioners Al Argosino and Michael Robles for plunder while Jack Lam was ordered arrested for violating Presidential Decree 46.

Sombero allegedly facilitated the release of 1,316 Chinese nationals who were arrested in November 2016 for illegally working at Lam’s Fontana Leisure Park Hotel and Casino in Clark, Pampanga. He was accused of giving P50 million to Argosino and Robles after meeting with then Justice Secretary Vitalliano Aguirre II. Sombero denied the allegations.

For his part, Sombero revealed that he opted to surrender to the PNP since he was a former police officer and he thought he is safe with his former colleagues. He also admitted receiving threats to his life, a fact that, according to him, is “not new for an active or retired officer.”

CIDG’s Obusan said that Sombero was sent to Sandiganbayan after undergoing booking procedures and documentation at Camp Crame. He also assured that there will be no “special treatment” for Sombero even if he was a former CIDG officer.

Asked where Sombero will be detained, Obusan said that it is for the court to decide and they will abide by whatever the decision would be.

However, Sombero’s lawyer, Jesi Lanete, said that they will consider filing a motion for his client to be detained at the PNP Custodial Center inside the Camp Crame.

Meanwhile, Obusan said that the surrender of Sombero had nothing to do with the recent resignation of Aguirre.

 
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