NBI 7 nabs cop for ‘bribe’ try

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014


THE National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) 7 arrested yesterday a 52-year-old police officer for allegedly accepting a bribe in exchange for a pregnant suspect’s freedom.

An NBI 7 team, led by agent Teddy Saavedra, conducted an entrapment operation for PO2 Joselito Laspiñas past 4 p.m. yesterday at the Plaza Independencia in Cebu City.

Michael Detuya, a catering service worker, said he was talking with Laspiñas about letting his live-in partner, Jennifer Lantaca, go free.

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Lantaca and four fellow store workers were arrested on suspicion of stealing merchandise from a mall on Colon St. last Saturday afternoon.

Detuya said he realized that Laspiñas was hinting at money in exchange for Lantaca’s freedom so he offered to give the police officer P4,000.

Laspiñas allegedly lowered the amount to P3,000, telling Detuya that the original amount was too much for him to take.

“Ingon siya nga siya ra’y bahala (He promised he would take care of everything),” said Detuya.

Detuya went to the NBI 7 yesterday morning, hours after his conversation with Laspiñas outside the Cebu City Waterfront Police Station.

Detuya said he came up with P3,000 after he pawned his mountain bike for P2,500. His partner's colleagues donated P500.

Laspiñas was brought to the NBI 7 office for booking.

The police officer cried while asking for forgiveness.

“He promised to give me lots of money,” said Detuya in Cebuano. He has not yet decided if he will forgive the police officer, who is four years away from retirement.

When asked for his comment, Laspiñas shook his head, placed his hand on his chest and grimaced.

Saavedra said they will charge Laspiñas with extortion, a violation under the Revised Penal Code, before the Cebu City Prosecutor's Office.

Lantaca, 22, was accused by her employer of stealing four shoulder bags and a pair of sandals. She has been working at the mall for about three years.

Of the four suspected workers, she was the only one left at the police detention cell. The others were released.

Saavedra said the supposed stolen items were not seized by the mall's security from Lantaca's possession. She was arrested while she was still on duty. “How can they arrest her when she was still inside the store?” he asked.

Detuya said his girlfriend plans to file a complaint against the mall's management for its unfair labor practices, like low wages and non-remittance of contributions to the Social Security System.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 29, 2014.

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