An Internal Ring of Corrupt Public Officers

By
Updated: February 20, 2017

Last week Wednesday, the former Finance Officer for the Immigration Officer, Teresita Castellanos dropped a bombshell during her testimony to the Senate Special Select Committee. Castellanos spoke of an entrenched culture within the department; a culture that was difficult to eradicate- a culture that still exists. Castellanos stated that the former Acting Director of Immigration Maria Marin, along with herself, attempted to change the culture but they had no support from the then CEO Candelaria Saldivar Morter nor the Ministry. Minister of Immigration, Senator Godwin Hulse responded to those statements.

GODWIN HULSE

“What I heard Ms.Castellanos talk about was some sort of internal ring of people doing things, its unfortunate that people did that but I must point out and I don’t want this point to be missed that when I grabbed that portion of the thing, especially the Penner thing I will never get over the fact that we took a guy to the Public Service Commission who took the picture of a ghost and produced the picture of the ghost on a passport called Wong Hong Kim and the Public Service sent him back to the department with his back pay and said there was no case. I cannot for the life of my imagine how that ever happened and we took four persons that time they all came back. Those are some of the problems we have to face up here. As Minister of Immigration when I actual signed I held back a lot of files, did all sorts of personal investigation that is not for the Minister to do that is things that the officers up the road come. When that file comes to me signed by the director, signed by the head of department and I look and do a cursory look, sometimes there are 20 or 30 files you hope that well God everything is in order. There were also people that went out to inspect that these people were living who should ask questions those people are in the department. They are also responsible and I would hope that the investigation would bring out the names of all of those and not only be focusing on which Minister gave which permit and who called what, run the gambit from the top to the bottom because if there is a ring I tell you to the honest truth I would hope that every damn one go to jail who was involved in this and we confiscate the passport and nationality and passport of everyone who got. You know for a fact that we have confiscated two legally, we’ve clipped some that came in and I keep doing this and peoples say you can’t take the Chinese because they will be stateless, I don’t really give a damn you cannot come into my country become a citizen of my country through fraudulent means and hope to stay.”

LOCAL REPORTER

“But these things happened under your watch.”

GODWIN HULSE

“Yes some of it did and I take responsibility as the ultimate but that is what I am saying I am hoping that the investigation would highlight and pin point those persons who did the fraud coming up because if it was up to me there would not have been any fraud but you would have gotten two or three a year.”

LOCAL REPORTER

“Castellanos said in her testimony that acting former director Maria Marin and herself tried to curb some of these irregular actions but they had no support from the ministry.”

GODWIN HULSE

“What does she mean from the Ministry? Because I could tell you that I was pretty much married to them. In a Ministry of Labor, Local Government, Rural Development, National Emergency Management, Meteorology, Hydrology and Police I was pretty much married to immigration my days started 4:30 in the morning and ended at midnight so please Maria Marin could never say that they called me about anything that I didn’t directly intervene.”

LOCAL REPORTER

“It’s Ms. Castellanos.”

GODWIN HULSE

“She never really spoke to me because she is the FO and I deal structurally CEO to Director that has always been my policy and that will never change. I hope Ms. Castellanos had no intention of mentioning me as part of any ring of corruption so when she said the top I hope she didn’t say me I wasn’t listening because clearly I was never and would never have been involved in that and everybody knows that.”