‘Appointment for sale’ mastermind arrested
MANILA, Philippines — The mastermind behind the so-called “appointment for sale” scam where victims pay up millions of pesos in exchange for plum government positions was arrested on Monday by agents of the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) in Taguig City.
In a presser on Tuesday in Camp Crame in Quezon City, CIDG chief Brig. Gen. Romeo Caramat said the suspect, Edward Diokno Eje, was arrested around 1:30 p.m. on Monday, after he pointed a gun at a motorcycle rider on 31st Street in Bonifacio Global City.
Eje introduced himself as an employee of the Office of the President and even presented an identification card purportedly issued by Malacañang.
While police officers were conducting a verification on Eje, they saw a gun “and other contrabands” in the compartment of the passenger seat of his sport utility vehicle. He failed to show documents for the firearm and was arrested.
Complaints for illegal possession of firearms and ammunition and illegal possession of explosives were filed against Eje before the Taguig prosecutor’s office on Tuesday morning.
A background check on Eje found that he was also wanted by operatives of the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission (PAOCC) for his involvement in a P1 billion worth of scams that allegedly offered government positions and projects in exchange for a huge sum of money.
Transactions cost a minimum of P1 million for simple but “high-paying” government investments, and up to P300 million for an undersecretary post, which pays only P212,000 monthly at most.
According to Caramat and PAOCC head Gilbert Cruz, Eje and his accomplice, Johnson Borja See, were identified to be the ones whom they paid for their supposed government positions. The victims even showed up in Malacañang on Jan. 27 for their supposed oath-taking before President Marcos, only to be told by Palace officials that they had been duped.
The “positions” supposedly given to the victims by an “Undersecretary Eduardo Diokno” and an “Assistant Secretary Johnson See” who claimed they were from the Office of the Executive Secretary were ambassador to the Netherlands, transportation assistant secretary, Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority board member, Clark International Airport Corp. president and chief executive officer, Early Childhood Care and Development Council executive director and vice chair, Clark Development Corp. director and Port of Batangas manager.
Cruz said See surrendered to him on Tuesday morning, and claimed he was also a victim of Eje.
After learning of Eje’s arrest, several complainants surfaced and gave their statements against him. Among the victims present during the Tuesday briefing were actresses Rosanna Roces and Gwen Garci, and model Geneva Silva.
Roces said she and her business partner, an engineer from Cebu, shelled out P18.5 million for a supposed government project in Parañaque City, which did not materialize.