2 City Hall workers, pal fall in entrapment-A A +A
Thursday, September 5, 2013
THE National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in Bacolod City arrested on Wednesday two personnel from the Office of the Building Official (OBO) and a civilian at the Government Center when they allegedly received "grease money" from an electrical contractor.
The NBI, led by investigator Cyrus Alusan, caught Peter Plantillo, a former City Engineer's Office electrician and is currently detailed to the OBO as inspector; John Navales, a job order employee; and Gilbert Martinez, a civilian.
The entrapment operation was an offshoot of complaints filed by licensed electrical contractors -- C5 General Services and Mahonri Electrical Services –- which said that before their applications could be acted upon by the OBO, some personnel had asked for grease money of P100 per applicant.
Alusan said that during the operation, a representative of one of the complainants handed P1,600 to Plantillo purportedly for the OBO to approve their application. Plantillo gave the money to Navales, and when the NBI operatives announced their presence, Navales threw the money on the floor.
Probe indicated that Plantillo wanted Martinez to receive the money, but the complainant’s representative handed it to Plantillo.
Upon their arrest, the three suspects were brought to the NBI for further
Bacolod City Mayor Monico Puentevella, who was in Manila attending the Mayors’ League of the Philippines conference on Wednesday, said he has yet to receive the report from the NBI regarding the operation.
But he said: “If found guilty, this is a warning to all employees in the city. Let’s wait for the report.”
Complainants wrote to the council too
Complainants Antonio Jayme of C5 General Services and Nephere Jayme of Mahonri Electrical Services had written to the City Council on August 29 expressing their grievances against some personnel and official of OBO.
Supposedly, all permits must be signed either by a registered electrical engineer, associate electrical engineer, or master electrician who must be a licensed city electrical contractor.
"This is where our services come when the applicant needs our professional services prior to their application and processing of their permits to the OBO,” the complainants, through their letter, indicate.
They further indicate: “The rightful person will assess it and sign the said application as the in-charge of installation are private practitioners duly authorized and licensed City Electrical contractor. We can then render our services with fees to be paid by the applicant as our professional services and the city fees and an official receipt shall be furnished as a legal transaction between the applicant and the practitioner.”
For instance, the complainants further illustrated, an ordinary applicant with a service entrance of 30 amperes will pay P800 as payment for our services. And the amount of P260 will be as city fee. The remaining P540 will be considered as our professional service fee.
However, they added, the building officials themselves are accepting those applicants with a corresponding payment from the applicant for professional services and city fees without corresponding receipt. They then in turn, ask the practitioner to sign the permits and pay for only P50 to P100 as professional services.
“That means, in a P30 ampere applicant, they receive more or less P450 per applicant and in 60 ampere, they can get more or less P800 per applicant in whom that amount should belong to the rightful persons who are legally and lawfully granted for that purpose,” the complainants further lamented.
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on September 05, 2013.