MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) - The Department of Justice (DOJ) has recommended the filing of criminal and graft charges against a Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) official who was arrested in an entrapment operation allegedly in the act of receiving money demanded as "commission" from a businessman who leased his property to the PRC.
Commissioner Alfredo Po was recommended charged for robbery, direct bribery, and graft by Prosecution Attorney Cesar Angelo Chavez III in a 9-page resolution dated Dec. 6 but released to the media only on Monday.
During the entrapment operation by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Counter-terrorism Unit on Dec. 5, Po allegedly received marked money inside his PRC office.
Based on the affidavit-complaint of Atty. Ernesto Delos Santos, Po demanded for a monthly "commission" of P42,800 for the lease of Delos Santos' CTLL Bldg. in Baguio City to the PRC. After allegedly having received a total of P126,000 from Delos Santos, Po allegedly asked for a one-time P394,000 "broker's commission."
"In this case, respondent Po clearly accepted the money as a consideration for the performance of his official functions as a commissioner of the PRC... respondent Po used his authority over complainant Delos Santos to 'extort' money from the latter.
"The use of the respondent's position as commissioner of the PRC can be deemed as a use of intimidation in order to gain from the complainant," the resolution read.
Po was subjected to inquest proceedings last Dec. 6. The DOJ resolution will be endorsed to the Office of the Ombudsman who shall make a final determination on whether Po should be indicted for the alleged offenses.
The resolution was approved by Senior Deputy State Prosecutor Richard Anthony Fadullon and Prosecutor General Claro Arellano.