RETIRED Police Director Charles T. Calima Jr. yesterday said he is seeking an audience with President Duterte in order to explain his side and present what he described as the “smoking gun” on massive corruption at the Bureau of Immigration particularly involving two of its former officials caught on video receiving P30 million from an emissary of Chinese billionaire Jack Lam, the initial amount of the P100 million they allegedly wanted to get from the online gambling tycoon.
Calima, a member of Philippine Military Academy Class of 1981 who retired as a Philippine National Police Director for Intelligence, maintained his innocence of the charges hurled against him by dismissed BI Assistant Commissioners Al Argosino and Michael Robles, both fraternity brothers at Lex Talionis of Department of Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II.
In a text message to the Journal Group, the erstwhile BI intelligence division chief said he wishes to have an audience with President Duterte since Secretary Aguirre has refused to listen to his side.
‘’To all my friends, colleagues and people who know me: Please hold your judgment on me. Do not base your judgment solely on the allegation of two associate commissioners who are willing to do anything and everything to wiggle out from an extortion case where we have very strong evidence against them,” he said.
“I have lost all respect for Argosino and Robles after I personally saw the evidence against them noong trina-trabaho namin sila para ma-entrap sana sa pangalawang paghingi nila ng fifty million pesos,” he said.
Calima vowed to tell the whole truth when he talks with the President.
“I hope the President does not close his door on me. I still believe that the President has the higher interest of the country over his fraternity. Thanks and please continue to have your trust on me. I need your prayers!” he said.
Aguirre removed Calima and his technical assistant Superintendent Edward Chan from their posts in connection with the ongoing investigation into the extortion of Lam.
Calima and Chan’s names surfaced amid allegations that Argosino and Robles accepted P50 million in payoffs from Lam in exchange for the release of 600 out of 1,316 Chinese nationals illegally working at the Fontana Leisure Parks and Casino in Clark, Pampanga.
The retired PNP general said records will show that “I was the one who initiated the counter-intelligence operation last November 25 in order to identify and arrest a group of persons.’’