Two employees of the Office of the Building Official in Bacolod City and a civilian were nabbed by National Bureau of Investigation agents in an entrapment operation at the Bacolod City Government Center yesterday.
OBO electrical inspector Peter Plantillo, John Navales, a job order casual of OBO, and Gilbert Martinez, who is reportedly applying for a job at the city government, were arrested by the NBI after they received P1,600 in marked money at about 2 p.m. outside the OBO office.
NBI Investigator Syrus Aluzan yesterday said two private electrical contractors had complained to them that before their applications for permit could be acted upon, certain employees of the OBO ask for P100 as “grease money” per applicant.
Antonio Jayme Jr., proprietor of C5 general Services and Nephere Jayme of Mahori Electrical Services wrote to the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Bacolod City on the alleged irregularities at the OBO.
Aluzan said the complainants informed them that the involved OBO personnel asked for P1,600 from their clients. During the pay-off yesterday afternoon, Plantillo, Navales and Martinez were apprehend in the act of receiving money from the electrical contractor.
Plantillo received the money and handed it to Navales, while Martinez held the logbook. When the agents announced their presence, Navales dropped the money on the floor, he said.
Plantillo, who was assigned to the OBO only last July, denied receiving money, and said what he accepted were only documents.
Meanwhile, electrical contractors, Antonio and Nephere Jayme, in their letter dated August 29 to the Sanggunian, said they fear that disclosing these irregular activities at the OBO will greatly affect their professional service as licensed contractors, since they are the ones who sign applications for electrical permits with the city.
The complainants said an ordinary applicant with a service entrance of 30 Amperes is required to pay P800 as payment for their service and P260 as city fee. The remaining P540 will be considered as their professional service fee.
The complainants said they have videos to support their claims against employees of the OBO who held a meeting to determine how much they should be paid for each permit that they endorse.
The complainants said acting OBO head Isidro Sun Jr. was informed about the irregularities verbally, but no action was taken.
Sun said he has to look into the complaint before giving any reaction.
Aluzan, on the other hand, said they are still conducting an initial query to determine the employment status of the suspects.
The suspects are presently under NBI custody, Aluzan added.*CGS