Dismissal of 'Pastillas'-linked personnel proves there are no sacred cows in Duterte admin --- Andanar

Malacañang welcomed the decision of the Office of the Ombudsman (OMB) to dismiss immigration employees in connection with the "pastillas scam," saying it is a testament to the government's zero-tolerance policy against corruption.

Bureau of Immigration

Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said this after the OMB ordered the dismissal of 45 personnel from the Bureau of Immigration (BI) linked to a scheme that had allowed Chinese nationals to enter the country illegally.

In a statement, Andanar said the decision of the Ombudsman was proof that the Duterte administration favored no one in its fight against corruption.

" underscores that there are no sacred cows in the Duterte Administration," he said Monday, June 13.

"We welcome this decision as it shows the current government's zero-tolerance policy against corruption in the bureaucracy," he added.

However, the acting Palace spokesman admitted that the fight against corruption still had miles to go.

"Fighting corruption, however, remains a challenge," Andanar said.

"We are, therefore, pushing for the automation of government systems to avoid face-to-face contact, at the same, eliminate redundant processes, for effective and efficient delivery of government services," he added.

The “pastillas” scheme was first exposed in early 2020. Under this scheme, Chinese nationals had supposedly entered the country without background checks in exchange for bribes.

It was named "pastillas" because the rolls of grease money involved in the illegal activity, which had supposedly reached P40 billion in October 2020, looked like the Filipino snack.