Press Release
October 20, 2020

Closing Statement of Senator Risa Hontiveros
Pastillas Scam Hearing

The issuance of D.O. No. 41 and the appointment of the father and son team of Maynardo and Marc Red Marinas at gatekeeper positions at the Bureau of Immigration opened the flood gates for the almost uncontrolled entry of Chinese nationals into the country.

According to the figures provided by the Bureau, there have been about four million Chinese nationals who have entered the country since 2017.

The numbers are staggering. For the sake of comparison, four million Chinese nationals arriving here since 2017 is comparable to more than the entire population of Quezon City.

Kumbaga, bakit mas marami pa sa mga residente ng QC ang bilang ng Chinese na pinapapasok sa bansa?

Around three million of these non-VUA applicants are believed to have paid the extra P10,000 service fee in the 'pastillas' scam. The rest, nag-VUA na.

With lax oversight on the VUA system and a pastillas syndicate in place, a red carpet was rolled out for the online gambling industry and the cross border trafficking of women. How much did these syndicates earn?

Going by the numbers floated at today's hearing, upwards of 30billion pesos, perhaps as high as 40 billions. Enough for public officers who had just lost their overtime pay and struggling to make ends meet, to live the high life, drinking expensive alcohol in high class night clubs and vacationing abroad almost monthly.

There was even enough money to finance a run for elective office. 1 million pesos to run for mayor? That's not even enough to run for barangay captain. But it seems this is just the tip of the iceberg. If there was a syndicate trafficking people in, perhaps there was also a syndicate trafficking people out. But that an issue for another day.

I welcome the announcement of the BI that there are findings of grave misconduct against those involved in the pastillas scam. Grave misconduct comes with it the penalties of dismissal from office. I trust that the NBI will follow through and bring to justice all those responsible for lowering the draw bridge and draining the moat.

Itigil na natin itong one stop shop ng VUA processing. One stop shop ng kickbacks. One stop shop ng corruption na ang dulo ay ang pagbubukas ng ating borders sa mga di karapat-dapat na dayuhan.

News Latest News Feed