Ombudsman suspends PRC Commissioner
MANILA, Philippines - Professional Regulatory Commission (PRC) Commissioner Alfredo Po has been placed under preventive suspension without pay after the Ombudsman found "strong evidence of guilt" on his part in connection with corruption and bribery charges filed against him.
The suspension came a month after the National Bureau of Investigation nabbed Po in an entrapment for allegedly soliciting bribes worth P394,000 from a businessman based in Baguio.
The commission supervises board examinations nationwide.
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales issued the order on Thursday, January 10, after signing two resolutions on Wednesday, January 9, declaring that there was sufficient evidence to show that Po commited the offense of Grave Misconduct and Violation of Section 7(d) of Republic Act No 6713 in two cases.
Po has been accused of soliciting and receiving bribes of P42,000 for monthly commissions and P394,000 for broker's commission from Atty Ernesto De Los Santos, who had been awarded the lease contract of the PRC's satellite office in Baguio City.
The second case concerns allegations that he failed to remit and account for collections worth P728,539.59 for the Philippine Society of Mechanical Engineers (PSME) when he was still the chairman of the Board of Mechanical Engineering. The case was filed following a fact-finding investigation prompted by a letter from a "Group of Mechanical Engineering Practitioners" in January 2006.
During his stint as board chairman in 2005, Po changed the PSME's fee collection system and ordered that all collections for the oath-taking ceremonies of mechanical engineering board passers in November 2005 and May 2006 turned over to him. The collections are still unaccounted for. - Rappler.com