Ombudsman orders preventive suspension of state prosecutor Solidum
MANILA, Philippines—Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales ordered the preventive suspension of a state prosecutor arrested last August for extorting money from members of the Philippine Airlines Employees Association (PALEA).
The Ombudsman resolution stated that initial investigation and evidence “preliminarily established that the guilt of Assistant State Prosecutor Diosdado Solidum Jr. is strong and which, if duly proven, would warrant the penalty of removal from the service.”
“There is also enough basis to conclude that his continued stay in office may prejudice the just, fair and independent disposition of the present case. This office is, therefore, fully convinced that placing respondent [Solidum] under preventive suspension is proper,” the Ombudsman said.
In response to the Office of the Ombudsman’s order, Justice Secretary Leila DeLima has already told Prosecutor General Claro Arellano to immediately implement the Ombudsman’s order.
Solidum who is based at the Department of Justice central office in Manila, allegedly demanded P2.5 million in exchange for the dismissal of criminal case against 241 PALEA members.
Solidum was arrested in an entrapment operation.
PALEA coordinated with the NBI and Justice Secretary Leila De Lima in planning the operation.
Some 241 PALEA members are facing a case for violation of Section 81 (b) (5) of Republic Act No. 9497 or the “Civil Aviation Authority Act of 2008.”
PALEA filed a petition for review with the Department of Justice after the Pasay City Prosecutors Office found probable cause to charge them in court.
In their petition for review, they said the case was in the nature of a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (SLAPP) suit in order to intimidate, harass, and stifle the rights of the respondents-appellants in the exercise of their constitutionally-protected rights.
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