Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse M. Robredo on Tuesday gave stern warning to local government officials all over the country on the presence of persons posing as government contractors but are actually swindlers.
“We would like to tell local government officials that we are not in any way negotiating with these persons who claim that they have strong influence and connections with government agencies and can facilitate the immediate approval of any contract,” said Robredo.
The warning came after Operatives from the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) nabbed in an entrapment operation Friday morning two women posing as government contractors who allegedly had victimized local government officials.
Maribeth Salgado, 46, and Rose Diola, 46, were arrested at about 11:30 in the morning in Trinoma Mall after they had received marked money as “mobilization fee,” said Police Senior Superintendent Ronald R. Estilles of CIDG.
Both women were traders. Salgado is a native of Koronadal South Cotabato but currently residing in Palanan, Makati City. Diola is a resident of Mandaluyong City but is a native of Cebu.
The arrest came after Cebu businessman Anthony Yap met with Robredo at the Dusit Hotel on Thursday night to report that a group of persons representing themselves as connected to the DILG and other government agencies claimed that they “can facilitate the speedy approval of contracts with the government.”
Upon being informed of the report, Robredo instructed Yap to coordinate with the police through the CIDG.
Yap said he had been continuously contacted by the two suspects, who had been “persuading him to continue their transaction.”
Salgado and Diola allegedly demanded from Ang P50, 000 as “mobilization fee” to speed up the approval of Robredo of their contract.
The two women, allegedly, were also misrepresenting themselves as persons who can facilitate multi-million projects with the government “as they [were] allegedly connected with the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Budget and Management.
The suspects were subjected to laboratory examination and were placed under the custody of CIDG.
They were charged Friday with violation of section 4 of RA 9485 or the Anti-Red Tape Law, violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, and estafa, said Estilles.