President Duterte has threatened corrupt immigration officials with death or deployment to the terrorist stronghold of Jolo Island.
The president told Bureau of Immigration staff to leave the country’s tourists alone — particularly the Koreans and Chinese — after getting reports about the “stupid things” happening at the bureau.
Speaking during a visit to Iloilo province today (Wednesday, June 20), he said: “To the immigration, once tourists have left the airport, got an arrival stamp and he is given so many days, do not ever go near them especially the Koreans and the Chinese.
“Only your director can do it. Only he can give the order but do not, do not, because once I find out, I’ll assign you in Jolo.”
The president also warned personnel against committing corrupt practices, such as extortion.
“There’s a lot of stupid things going on. Do not do that because one mistake, I will hit back. Either I’ll kill you, make you an example or throw you in Jolo,” he said.
“When they arrive, they ask for money and engage in drama. The Chinese and Korean tourists, since this is not their homeland, will give in.”
Koreans and Chinese tourists are the largest cohorts of foreign visitors of the country.
Immigration bullet scam
The president then made specific mention of the so-called“tanim-bala”, or bullet planting scam, at the country’s airports.
As we reported last week, a passenger at Manila’s airport claimed to have been a victim of the scam, which was prevalent under the previous administration. Upon taking office, the president staked his authority on stamping out the practice.
Bosses at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport have denied that the discovery of the bullet was a scam, saying that the passenger was allowed to continue on her journey without having to pay a fine.