LEGAZPI CITY, 30Aug2013 (PNA) – The Legazpi City Prosecutor’s Office on Friday filed direct bribery charges against a legal assistant in the Bicol regional office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) here after he was caught inside his office receiving P5,000 marked money in an entrapment operation Thursday by agents of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).
Legazpi City Chief Prosecutor Dominador Barrameda identified the respondent as Roger Madrideo, a resident of Barangay Taysan here, with an item of Legal Assistant II at the DENR-Bicol’s legal division, and the complainant as Rogelio San Juan Jr., a passenger van driver, residing in Pamplona, Camarines Sur.
Barrameda said he recommended a bail of P10,000 for the temporary freedom of the suspect who was placed inside the city jail after he was arrested by the NBI.
He said the direct bribery charge he recommended was based on the provisions of the second paragraph of Article 210 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC).
Barrameda refused to further comment on the merits of the case, saying it was already transmitted to the court for official trial.
Lawyer Manuel Eduarte, NBI Legazpi Office chief, said he immediately organized teams to do the entrapment after they were told by the complainant of his scheduled visit to DENR regional office to give the suspect and another personnel in the legal office P5,000 in exchange for the release of his van earlier impounded by the DENR.
Eduarte said his agents accompanied the complainant to the office where the handing of the already-marked money would take place.
An undercover agent went with the van driver inside the office and was able to actually witness the handing of the marked money placed inside an envelope.
“After the suspect accepted the marked money from the complainant, our agents declared the arrest, at the same time informed the suspect of his legal rights,” Eduarte said.
He said the NBI will file a separate complaint against another DENR-Bicol official whom the complainant had also implicated in his sworn affidavit, but was not around during the entrapment operation.
“We will just file separate charges against this DENR official. This complaint will include violation of Republic Act 3019, or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act,” he said.
The complainant alleged that the implicated officials agreed to release his vehicle impounded in June in exchange for P5,000 bribe money.
Meanwhile, DENR-Bicol Regional Executive Director Gilbert Gonzales said he will order a separate investigation of their entrapped employee to determine his probable culpability that may warrant filing of administrative complaint against him.
“But at this early, we want to already apologize to the public for what one of our employees did. We will do everything to avoid a repeat of this very sad incident,” Gonzales said. (PNA)