The Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption said President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. made a politically correct decision by appointing lawyer Norman Tansingco as the new Bureau of Immigration commissioner.
Arsenio Evangelista, president of the anti-crime and corruption watchdog, said Tansingco could implement “much-needed reforms” in the BI which had been hounded through the years by controversies involving its frontline personnel.
The bureau has been embroiled in controversies in the past years over the so-called “pastillas” scheme, where officers allegedly received grease money for seamless entry of Chinese nationals into the country.
At least 43 personnel of the bureau were indicted recently by the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan for suspected complicity in the so-called “pastillas scam”.
Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla lamented that the BI, which he described as the “face of the country” as frontline organization, had been plagued by “extortion syndicates, human trafficking syndicates and protection syndicates.”
Evangelista said Tansingco “cannot be alien with the problems besetting the bureau because he has been with it for some 10 years or so, having assumed such sensitive positions as chief of staff of the commissioner.”
“We can expect Tansingco to give the BI a new face, as well as a fresh start in honest and dedicated implementation of the country’s immigration laws,” he said.
There were reports last month a former law dean would be named BI commissioner, after several individuals flaunted a purported appointment paper allegedly signed by the president.
Evangelista dismissed the failed attempt to deceive the public as “unfortunate”.
“The VACC and its partners and stakeholders have full trust and confidence in the integrity and credibility of Tansingco as a public servant, and we respect the decision of President Marcos to appoint him to the BI,” Evangelista said.
Tansingco replaced Immigration officer-in-charge Rogelio Gevero Jr., who was appointed by Remulla last month in place of Commissioner Jaime Morente.