News Briefs: March 15, 2017
Stories from across the Philippines on Wednesday, March 15

BIR employee in Bacolod nabbed for alleged bribery

BACOLOD CITY – For alleged bribery, a woman employee of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) here was arrested in an entrapment operation inside the government office at Jocson P. Henares Street Extension in Barangay Taculing Wednesday morning, March 15.

Special Investigator William de Arca Jr of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) here identified the suspect as Revenue Officer 1 Julie Hernaez of BIR-Bacolod’s Assessment Section.

De Arca said the suspect had asked an additional P125,000 from complainant Geneviev Buenaflor, operations manager of Bacolod-based firm JP Ramos Trading Corporation, on top of their company’s P125,000 corporate tax.

The additional amount was allegedly to facilitate the release of the company’s tax form.

The suspect was arrested inside the BIR office after she handed the tax form to a NBI operative, who posed as an employee of the company. 

The suspect, who is now in the custody of the NBI, will face charges on bribery and violation of the anti-graft and corrupt practices act and code of conduct of public officials. – Marchel Espina


NPA guerillas raid police station in Abra town, ambush responders


BAGUIO CITY – About 30 New People’s Army (NPA) guerillas raided the police station in the remote town of Malibcong in Abra on Sunday night, March 12, and later used some of the weapons they took to ambush a Provincial Public Safety Company (PPSC) Monday morning, March 13, in the same town.

Five PPSC members were wounded when they were ambushed by the NPA at the Malibcong Malanes Bridge at around 11 am Monday. They were supposed to reinforce the Malibcong police after the night raid. 

Wounded were PO2 Jessie Pastores Trinidad, PO1 Marlon Banigan De Lapaz, PO1 Gerome Pacapac Baldos, PO1 Von Harold Layao and PO1 Kennon Batanes Sanggoy. All were brought to Abra Provincial Hospital for medical treatment.

The NPA raided the Malibcong police station, said to be the former house of the mayor, after a 10-minute exchange of fire. No casualties were reported on both camps, but the NPA guerillas were able to take 7 long firearms, 3 short firearms, and ammunitions. – Frank Cimatu  

Bataan ex-mayor, 2 NGOs found liable for irregular P53M PDAF transactions

MANILA, Philippines – A Commission on Audit (COA) decision has left Joel Jaime Payumo, a former mayor of Dinalupihan, Bataan, facing charges of an irregular transfer of P53 million worth of pork barrel to foundations linked to Janet Lim-Napoles.

The case stems from what the commission saw as an irregular transfer of Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) funds for what were supposed to be agricultural and livelihood projects, to the non-government organizations People’s Organization for Progress and Development Foundation Inc. (POPDFI) and Kaupdan Para sa Mangunguma Foundation Inc. (KPMFI).

The funds were traced from the PDAFs of former senators Juan Ponce Enrile and Jinggoy Estrada, as well as Senator Loren Legarda.

COA said Payumo, a former Undersecretary for Political Affairs under President Benigno Aquino, was the one who entered into agreements with the two Napoles NGOs. POPDFI got P38 million, while KPMFI received P15 million, between January 2012 and April 2013.

Notices of disallowance were later issued by state auditors in 2014 after it was found that the NGOs were not qualified to handle the projects.

Payumo and the NGOs, along with former municipal accountant Sevilla Bislig, have been ordered to reimburse the government the full P53 million.

However, Bislig petitioned that she did not fail on her duty to report irregularities in the transactions. The COA decision dated February 24, 2017, released March 13, absolved her of any liability. –

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