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Monday, August 16, 2010

BI seeks protection for airport official after death threats

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) has moved to protect its newly assigned airport officials after receiving reports that one of them has been receiving death threats supposedly in connection with the cleansing of the bureau's personnel.

In a phone interview with GMANews.TV on Sunday, BI officer-in-charge Rolando Ledesma said he has relayed the matter to Justice Undersecretary Jose Vicente Salazar, who heads the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking.

"Theodore Pascual, the head supervisor of the NAIA (Ninoy Aquino International Airport) Terminal 1, said he has been receiving death threats. I have conveyed this to Usec. Salazar, so that all the newly installed BI personnel in NAIA will have police protection," said Ledesma.

He said the motive for the death threats could be related to the major revamp of airport-assigned officials in relation to the worsening human trafficking problem in the country.

Ledesma said they have sacked 39 employees and suspended 23 others as part of their efforts to remove "inept and corrupt" personnel.

The US State Department has placed the Philippines on its Tier 2 rank of human trafficking cases. The country is in danger of losing some $250-million in aid from the US State Department if it does not improve in its handling of human trafficking cases by February 2011

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