Sandiganbayan denies Sombero’s bid for PNP detention

Published April 20, 2018, 3:50 PM

by Francine Ciasico

By Czarina Nicole Ong

The Sandiganbayan Sixth Division has denied the motion filed by former cop and Asian Gaming
 Service Providers 
Association,Inc. (AGSPA) president Wenceslao “Wally” Sombero Jr. seeking to be detained at the Philippine National Police (PNP) custodial center instead of the Quezon City Jail Annex of Camp Bagong Diwa.

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 resigned Bureau of Immigration (B.I.) officers, surrendered to incoming PNP Chief, NCRPO Regional Dir. Gen Oscar Albayalde, at Camp Crame in Quezon City. (Mark Balmores / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

Sombero is the co-accused of former Bureau of 
Immigration (BI) Deputy Commissioners Al Argosino and Michael Robles in a plunder charge involving the P50-million bribery scandal involving 1,316 arrested Chinese nationals on November 27, 2016.

They were also charged with a violation of Section 3(e) of Republic .Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, Article 210 of the Revised Penal Code or Bribery, and Presidential Decree 46 – an act punishing local officials for receiving gifts from private individuals.

Argosino and Robles initially sought to be transferred to the PNP Custodial Center as well, but they decided to withdraw their motion.

In a resolution promulgated on April 17, the court highlighted the comment made by PC Insp. Romulo Z. Flores II, chief of the Custodial Service Unit of the PNP as it denied Sombero’s motion for transfer.

Flores said that for reasons of “practicality, frugality in using public funds and ensuring the safety and security of both the accused and government personnel,” the respondents should be jailed under the supervision of the BJMP.

“The establishment and maintenance of the PNP Custodial Center should never be interpreted to mean that the function of management and supervision of jail facilities in the country as well as the safekeeping and disposition of detention prisoners fall within the authority of the PNP for the same, by law, is properly vested with the BJMP,” his opposition read.

The anti-graft court then directed the BJMP to take necessary measures to ensure the safety of Argosino, Robles and Sombero while under their custody.

 
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