Ombudsman files raps at Sandiganbayan vs PRC commissioner

THE Office of the Ombudsman filed with the Sandiganbayan four (4) criminal Informations against Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) Commissioner Alfredo Y. Po arising from alleged extortion activities.

Acting upon the Inquest Resolution dated December 6, 2012 endorsed by the Department of Justice, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales approved the filing of separate Informations, indicting Po for: (1) Direct Bribery, under Sec. 210 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC); (2) Graft under Sec. 3(b) of Republic Act. (RA) 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act; (3) Solicitation or Acceptance of Gifts, under Sec. 7(d) of RA No. 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees]; and (4) Simple Robbery (with violence against or intimidation of persons) under Articles 293 and 294 of the RPC.

The Informations, in sum, allege that Po demanded and received P478,000 as his commission for the rentals being paid by the PRC for its satellite office in Baguio City.

The case stemmed from a complaint filed by Ernesto De Los Santos, owner-lessor of the rented building that houses PRC’s Baguio office located at 141 Abanao Extension.

De Los Santos alleged that in November 2012 he went to Po’s office and was given checks representing the security deposit, during which instance, Po said that De Los Santos should give him a monthly commission of P42,800.

On December 5, 2012, an entrapment operation was conducted by the National Bureau of Investigation Counter-Terrorism Division (NBI-CTD) in Po’s office at the PRC in Manila, when De Los Santos was delivering P394,000 to Po.

After inquest proceedings, the DOJ recommended the filing of the cases, upon finding that Po “clearly accepted the money as a consideration for the performance of his official functions as a commissioner of the PRC” and in the nature of a “commission for the facilitation by the accused of the lease contract between PRC and Ernesto De Los Santos[.]”

Po was appointed PRC Commissioner by Pres. Benigno Aquino III in September 2010.

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