DOLE officer accused of extortion posts bail

Published by rudy Date posted on May 10, 2011

CEBU, Philippines – A Department of Labor and Employment-7 hearing officer accused of extortion is now out on bail.

Regional Trial Court Branch 20 Judge Bienvenido Saniel signed the release order for Wilfredo Wagas after he paid P20,000 for his temporary liberty.

Graft investigator Regina Fernandez elevated the case against Wagas for direct bribery in court after she found probable cause to indict Wagas.

Wagas, who is tasked to hear cases involving violations of labor laws, allegedly demanded money from Johnie Lim, president of the Spa and Wellness Association of Cebu.

Lim filed a complaint against Wagas before the Office of the Ombudsman Visayas last Friday for allegedly taking P12,000 from him in consideration of the dismissal of a labor case against him.

Lim, owner of Body & Sole Spa, said during the last week of February 2011, he received a notice of hearing from DOLE-7 scheduled on March 8.

During the hearing Wagas showed him documents stating the alleged findings on Lim’s violations of labor laws. He then advised Lim to submit his documentary evidence to controvert their findings.

On March 23, 2011 Lim received another notice of hearing scheduled on April 1, 2011 at 8:30 a.m. Lim said he appeared with his employees who were interviewed by Wagas. The four employees said they will not file a case against Lim.

Wagas said the case will be easy since his employees refused to file a case against him.

Lim said Wagas told him “ang uban kompaniya nga amo natabangan muhatag og pahalipay, naa pay muhatag og P500, maayo pay wa na lang,”

Wagas later showed him the total computations of his liabilities and asked for a “pahalipay.”

Lim then gave Wagas P5,000. But Wagas allegedly asked for more eventually getting Lim to give him P12,000.

Lim said he later reported the matter to DTI Provincial Director Nelia Navarro who reported it to DOLE-7 Regional Director Exequiel Sarcauga who asked Lim if he was willing to cooperate to entrap Wagas.

Last May 5 Wagas was arrested by the police operatives headed by Chief Insp. George Ylanan in an entrapment operation. (FREEMAN)

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