Summons issued vs family tagged in money laundering scheme


    SEVEN members of the Rodriguez family tagged in supposed money laundering activities through the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) have been summoned by the Senate blue ribbon committee to attend today’s investigation into the worrisome entry of millions worth of dollars and other foreign currencies in cold cash.

    Sen. Richard Gordon, committee chairman, issued subpoenas to the Rodriguezes – Elizabeth, Janet, John Joshua, Mary Rose, Michael Julian Rodriguez Calderon, Natasha, and Simon John, compelling them to attend the hearing in pain of being cited in contempt and ordered arrested and detained at the Senate.

    The Senate blue ribbon is looking into reports that $833 million or roughly P32 billion in dollars and other foreign currencies have entered the country in recent months. The cash were allegedly placed in suitcases and were flown to the country via commercial flights from either Singapore or Hong Kong.

    Personnel of the Bureau of Customs have not confiscated any of the cash since these were legally declared by the couriers supposedly for business, travel and gambling purposes.

    Gordon has alleged the money was used to finance the operations of Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs), including the acquisition of real estate properties to house Chinese workers who have been flocking to the country in past years.

    Controversies, such as the “pastillas” bribery scheme involving immigration agents, and increased incidents of criminal activities, among them illegal drug trading, prostitution and kidnapping, have been linked to the POGOs.

    A staff of Gordon said the Rodriguezes have not confirmed their attendance for today’s hearing.

    Members of the Rodriguez family were identified by Gordon as among those who have brought in millions of dollars and other foreign currencies from September last year to February this year.

    Gordon has said international criminal syndicates might be using members of the Rodriguez family to bring in the money into the country to finance POGOs and other illegal activities.

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