By Czarina Nicole Ong
Two officials from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) – Batangas City have been slapped with a direct bribery and breach of conduct complaint before the Office of the Ombudsman on Friday after they were arrested in an entrapment operation conducted by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) a few days ago.
Mark Dexter Medina and Menelao Jimenez are facing the complaint for violation of Article 210 of the Revised Penal Code and Republic Act 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees since they attempted to extort money from a medical laboratory.
Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) Commissioner and Spokesperson Greco Belgica filed the complaint against the two for their bribery attempt on Batangas City Laboratory Incorporated.
On July 31, 2018, the medical laboratory was served with a Letter of Authority informing them that Medina and Jimenez would be examining their books of accounts and other accounting records for all internal revenue taxes from January 1 to December 2017.
However, the employees of the medical laboratory were told by the BIR employees that they will no longer conduct the audit in exchange for P1 million. The employees were further told that they have until October 12 to decide on the offer. But when the day passed, Medina told them that it had been extended to October 15.
When October 15 came, Belgica acted as an employee of the medical laboratory and inquired about the P1 million. Belgica’s staff communicated with Medina via cellular phone and went by the name “Alice.”
Through their calls, “Alice” found out that the P1 million would be to pay for P350,000 deficiency taxes as per their audit and they will be issued a receipt. The remaining P650,000, on the other hand, would “go to the pockets of the BIR employees and their cohorts,” the complaint stated.
They tried to negotiate with the two, and the amount was reduced to P900,000. From that amount, only P100,000 will be issued an official receipt. The remaining P800,000 would be given to the BIR employees in their office in Batangas City “in cash.”
The transaction took place on October 18, so five pieces of marked bills were placed inside a brown paper bag together with eight bundles of P1,000 amounting to P795,000.
During the meeting, Medina instructed Alice to place the money inside an open drawer of Jimenez’s table. It was then that Alice gave the signal for entrapment operatives to arrest them.
Medina and Jimenez were brought to the NBI Office in Manila where they were booked, fingerprinted and photographed.