MANILA - Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III on Wednesday faced new corruption allegations, this time for supposedly accepting gifts and demanding bribes.
Amanda Araneta, owner of a recruitment agency, told reporters that she gave Bello P100,000 in cash gift.
The Cabinet official, she said, later allegedly demanded at least P10 million for the approval of her agency's license.
Araneta's accusation came a week after a labor group urged Bello to resign for his purported involvement in extortion ploys against employment agencies and for failing to help a Filipina migrant worker who was separated from her baby in Saudi Arabia.
Bello had denied this, daring his accuser to file a case against him if it can back its allegations.
Bello said the corruption claims were aimed at derailing his application to head the Office of the Ombudsman or may have been manufactured by those who want to replace him as Labor chief.
President Rodrigo Duterte, who has known Bello since law school, has vowed to fire officials on the slightest "whiff of corruption."
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With a report from Ron Gagalac, ABS-CBN News