An anti-crime watchdog on Tuesday bared reports of a new modus involving online offers for the removal from the Bureau of Immigration’s (BI) blacklist in exchange for as much as P5 million.

“We received reports of advertisements offering to lift immigration blacklist for a fee of P1 million to P5 million were circulating in Chinese social media platforms,” Movement for Restoration of Peace and Order (MRPO) Chairperson Ka Kuen Chua said during a hearing of the Senate Public Order and Dangerous Drugs Committee yesterday.

“These kinds of anomalies in the Bureau of Immigration must be investigated and those responsible must be removed from service,” Chua said.

Chua said based on the information they have gathered, illegal safehouses and slave labor dens were “under the protection of authorities.”

“There are claims that dens of iniquity, especially those in Cavite and Pampanga, are under the protection of police officials. Furthermore, victims that we have assisted claimed that police personnel served as their guards, but we have yet to confirm the veracity of their claims,” Chua said.

“Also, in some instances, victims we assisted who were so eager to file a case, later on wanted to retract their case. And it is claimed that their affidavits of desistance were prepared either by the police or by the prosecutors themselves,” he added.

The Cavite Police public information office denied the allegations.

“The Cavite Police vehemently deny the alleged involvement of any police personnel posting as security escorts of the POGO facilities more so influencing any victim/s to withdraw their charges on any POGO related incident,” the Cavite Police told GMA News Online in a message.

The BI said at least 255 of the over 360 POGO workers that were turned over to them from September to October 2022 had already been deported.

The remaining POGO workers were still undergoing the process for deportation.