MANILA, Philippines - Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) Commissioner Alfredo Po is now facing various charges before the Sandiganbayan for alleged extortion, the Office of the Ombudsman said Wednesday.
The Ombudsman, in a statement, said it filed charges of direct bribery, graft, solicitation, and simple robbery against Po on Wednesday morning before the anti-graft coury.
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales approved the filing of the charges against Po following an inquest resolution dated December 6, 2012 that was endorsed by the Department of Justice.
Po, who was appointed PRC commissioner by President Benigno Aquino in September 2010, is accused of demanding and getting P478,000 as commission for rent fees 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, the Ombudsman said.
De Los Santos alleged that in November 2012, he went to Po's office and was given checks representing the security deposit. The PRC official allegedly demanded that De Los Santos 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, wherein De Los Santos delivered P394,000 to Po.
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," according to DOJ records. - report from Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News