Ex-labor official accused of extorting P6.8-M

Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 20 2018 07:23 PM

A former labor official has been charged before the Office of the Ombudsman for supposedly extorting P6.8 million pesos from an owner of a recruitment agency.

Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) filed the complaint against ex-labor and Employment Undersecretary Dominador Say, based on the claims of Azizzah Salim, owner of Azizzah International Manpower Services, Inc.

The complaint was filed by PACC Chairman Dante Jimenez and Commissioner Manuelito Luna, along with their witness, Salim. 

In Salim's affidavit, she narrated that in 2017, she gave a total of P6.8 million pesos in three tranches to Say, through a bagman.

The money was supposedly in exchange of the lifting of the cancellation order made by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration of her company’s recruitment license. 

According to Luna, they also sent the Ombudsman digital evidence of the text messages between Salim, Say and the bagman, which was authenticated by the National Bureau of Investigation.

“Tatlo sila niyan, it’s a conversation by and between Azizzah, the official concerned and the alleged bagman,” Luna said.

The complaint also includes a certain Vanessa Josue or “Ness” who supposedly facilitated the lifting of the cancellation.

“The PACC is determined to go after government officials who are really corrupting their agencies, this is the first of many complaints that we have received,” Jimenez said. 

In the complaint, Azizzah also said she personally told President Rodrigo Duterte in a meeting in Malacañang last April 16, 2018 that she was forced to pay Say P6.8 million for the viability of her business.