Ombudsman files 4 criminal raps vs. PRC commissioner

December 12, 2012 11:16 pm 

By Perfecto Raymundo

MANILA, Dec. 12 — The Office of the Ombudsman Wednesday filed before the Sandiganbayan four criminal cases against Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) Commissioner Alfredo Y. Po, which stemmed from alleged extortion activities.

Acting on the inquest resolution dated Dec. 6, 2012 endorsed by the Dept. of Justice, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales approved the filing of separate cases indicting Po for direct bribery, under Sec. 210 of the Revised Penal Code; graft under Sec. 3(b) of Republic Act 3019 or the "Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act"; 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 simple robbery under Articles 293 and 294 of the RPC.

The charges alleged 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 arose from a complaint filed by Ernesto De Los Santos, owner-lessor of the rented building that houses PRC's Baguio office 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 De Los Santos should give him a monthly commission of P42,800.

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

After the 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 President Benigno S. Aquino III in September 2010. (PNA)

HBC/PTR

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