Senate Committee on Women cites 4 BI officials in contempt for snubbing ‘pastillas’ hearing

Published October 6, 2020, 2:22 PM

by Hannah Torregoza 

The Senate Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations, and Gender Equality cited four former and incumbent officials of the Bureau of Immigration (BI) in contempt after it snubbed the subpoena issued by the panel in relation to its probe on the alleged “pastillas” scheme.

(Senate of the Philippines / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

It was Senator Imelda “Imee” Marcos who sought to cite in contempt former Bureau of Immigration (BI) ports operations division (POD) chief Marc Red Mariñas and his father Maynardo Mariñas, who headed the Special Operations and Communications Unit of the BI.

Marcos also wanted BI officer Totoy Magbuhos and Danieve Binsol to be cited in contempt.

Sen. Risa Hontiveros, chairman of the said Senate committee, approved Marcos’ motion.

“Kung akala ninyo kaya nyong ismolin ang imbestigasyong ito, nagkakamali kayo (If you think you can ignore this committee’s investigation, you are wrong),” Hontiveros said during her closing statement.

“With the concurrence of Sen. Imee, the chair has ruled to hold you, Marc Red Marinas, Maynardo Marinas, Totoy Magbuhos, and Danieve Binsol in contempt. And I am requesting the Senate sergeant at arms to present all four of you before the committee next hearing,” the senator added.

All four personalities were linked to the multi-billion bribery scheme which allowed the unhampered entry of Chinese nationals into the Philippines.

The Senate panel has been investigating the link between the entry of Chinese nationals to the rise of prostitution and sex trafficking in the country amid the boom of Chinese-owned Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs).

A new whistleblower, Jeffrey Dale Ignacio, named Mariñas as one of the masterminds of the “pastillas” scheme during the hearing.

Marinas was not present during the hearing but had previously testified before the committee that he had no knowledge of the modus.