Press Release
September 10, 2022

Statement of Senator Risa Hontiveros on "pastillas" whistleblower Jeffrey Dale Ignacio becoming a state witness

I commend the decision of the Sandiganbayan to drop criminal charges against "pastillas" scam whistleblower Jeffrey Dale Ignacio, and to admit him as state witness against high-ranking immigration officials involved in criminal activity.

I thank the anti-graft court for heeding our previous calls to consider Jeffrey's cooperation with the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Senate Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations and Gender Equality - which I lead as chairperson - during our probe on the "pastillas" scam in the Bureau of Immigration (BI).

Jeffrey's detailed and valuable testimony has helped shine a light on the almost-institutionalized corruption in the BI, and helped identify some of the 'big cats' involved in this multi-billion peso racket. As a state witness, I hope his testimony will provide a big boost to the prosecution of these erring officials and employees.

These officials involved in the "pastillas" scam enabled not only the illegal entry of countless Chinese nationals, but also the trafficking of Filipino women and children. Malaki ang kasalanan ng mga sangkot sa scam na ito sa ating bayan. Whistleblowers like Jeffrey Dale Ignacio, Allison Chiong, and others should receive ample protection and assistance from the government, so that justice may be fully served and all those accountable for this scam put behind bars.

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