MANILA, Philippines?The Department of Interior and Local Government on Wednesday issued a stern warning to local government officials to be wary of people posing as government contractors, following the arrest of two suspects last week.
Secretary Jesse Robredo said the modus operandi of these suspects was to approach local officials, claiming that they can facilitate a speedy processing of government contracts if these officials pay a ?mobilization fee.?
Two female suspects were arrested using this modus last week in an entrapment operation at a mall in Quezon City.
Maribeth Salgado, 46, and Rose Diola, 46, were arrested at 11:30 a.m. Friday at the Trinoma Mall, after receiving marked money from undercover agents, said Senior Superintendent Ronald Estilles of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group.
The entrapment was set following a complaint from a Cebu businessman, Anthony Yap, on people claiming to be connected to the DILG ?can facilitate the speedy approval of contracts with the government,? Robredo said.
According to Robredo, Yap claimed he was continuously contacted by the two suspects, who had been ?persuading him to continue their transaction.?
Salgado and Diola allegedly demanded P50,000 from Ang as ?mobilization fee? to allegedly speed up the approval of his contract by Robredo.
The two women, allegedly, were also misrepresenting themselves as persons who can facilitate multi-million projects with the government ?as they [were] allegedly connected with the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Budget and Management,? Robredo said.
After their arrest, the two suspects will be charged with violation of section 4 of Republic Act 9485 or the Anti-Red Tape Law, violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, and estafa, said Estilles.
?We would like to tell local government officials that we are not in any way negotiating with these persons who claim that they have strong influence and connections with government agencies and can facilitate the immediate approval of any contract,? said Robredo.