QC prosecutor nabbed for extort try on 'Morong 43' doctor

MANILA, Philippines – The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on Friday, November 14, arrested a Quezon City prosecutor in an entrapment operation for allegedly extorting P80,000 ($1,780.45)* from a member of the so-called “Morong 43.”

At 11:20 am Friday, NBI agents caught Assistant City Prosecutor Raul Desembrana of the QC Prosecutors Office receiving marked money from Dr Alex Montes.

Montes is among the 43 health workers arrested in 2010 over suspicions of being members of the New People's Army.

On Thursday, Montes’ counsel, Ephraim Cortez, sought help from Justice Secretary Leila de Lima after Desembrana asked for P80,000 from his client in exchange for the dismissal of an unjust vexation complaint filed by a retired military chaplain against Montes.

Cortez alleged that the prosecutor urged him to draft the resolution of dismissal to be submitted after he received the money.

The NBI set the the entrapment operation on Friday at Serye Restaurant in Quezon City, which was chosen by Desembrana. They arrested the prosecutor after he received the money from Montes.

De Lima said in a text message on Friday that she will continue to greenlight such operations to weed the justice deparment of "misfits and scalawags."

“I said it before and will say it again:  At the risk of causing occasional embarrassment to us as an institution, I don't mind authorizing such entrapment operations even on a regular basis, if only to rid our ranks with misfits and scalawags,” she said.

Cortez said of Desembrana, “We cannot just look the other way and simply ignore the brazenness by which Prosecutor Desembrana tried to extort from our client, which indicates how audacious he was to fantasize that he can just get away with his criminal act and remain untouchable."

The NBI will file extortion charges against Desembrana. – Rappler.com

*$1 : P44.93