A POLICEWOMAN will spend six to 10 years in jail for bribing her colleagues to reduce the charges filed against a suspected drug trafficker in 2007.
This, after Judge Ester Veloso found PO1 Blaire Frances Quezon guilty of violating Section 3 (a) of Republic Act 3019, or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
“As a police officer, her inappropriate conduct in fixing a case between the police and the arrested person is a clear violation of RA 3019,” read Veloso’s 16-page judgment.
Apart from jail term, Veloso also perpetually disqualified Quezon from holding any public office.
Quezon was arrested in an entrapment for bribing operatives of the Regional Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operation Task Group in Central Visayas (RAIDSOTG) 7 last Dec. 9, 2007.
PO3 Roehl Patalinghug, RAIDSOTG-7 intelligence operative, Supt. Marvin Sanchez, and Armando Labora, said Quezon offered and subsequently hand-carried to them P50,000 to modify the complaint against the drug trafficker.
Patalinghug said Quezon approached them on Dec. 9, 2007, and initiated the “deal” to downgrade the complaint against Cleofe Racaza, whom RAIDSOTG 7 arrested for alleged drug trafficking.
Patalinghug said that Quezon approached him and inquired about the status of the case against Racaza, who was charged with violating Section 5 of Republic Act 9165, or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
The following day, Patalinghug said Quezon texted him and asked about the update of their “deal,” but the policeman reportedly replied that the request could not be done.
The text messages from Quezon were certified by the National Telecommunications Commission, he said.
Patalinghug said he immediately reported the matter to their legal department. An entrapment was then launched with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency 7.
In her testimony, Quezon said she said she allegedly made the deal on behalf of Gines Abellana, legal counsel of Racaza.
The policewoman said she did it merely as a “favor” since Abellana was her law professor and counsel in the annulment case she had filed against her estranged husband.
She claimed that Patalinghug demanded P50,000 from her to reduce the drug charges against Racaza.
In the judgment, Judge Veloso ruled that Quezon admitted that she acted as a conduit between Abellana and Racaza.
“She (Quezon) made use of her position as a police officer to convince a fellow officer to accept her bribe of P50,000 to downgrade the charge against (Cleofe) Racaza,” the judgment read.
Published in the SunStar Cebu newspaper on November 19, 2017.
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