BIR officer, 2 women arrested for extortion

Published March 23, 2019, 11:35 AM

by Francine Ciasico

By Jeffrey Damicog 

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has arrested an officer of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and two women for allegedly extorting P300,000 from a businessman.

The arrested suspects were identified as BIR Revenue Officer 2 Reynaldo Lojuco, 51, who is assigned to the BIR office in Plaridel, Bulcan; and his female companions Bernadeth Carino, 25, and Sheila Marie Santiago, 31.

The three suspects were arrested Thursday night at a fast food joint in Plaridel in an entrapment operation conducted by joint operatives of the NBI’s Anti-Terrorism Division (ATD) and Anti-Graft Division (AGD).

The operation stemmed from the complaint of businessman Geronimo dela Cruz, 44, who supplies second-hand randy bottles in Plaridel.
The BIR had filed a P10-million tax evasion case dela Cruz, but this was provisionally dismissed the Caloocan City metropolitan trial court reportedly because of repeated failure of BIR representatives to appear.

The complainant said that, during this time Lojuco, approached him and threatened to revive the case if Dela Cruz did not pay P300,000.
Because of this, the complainant sought the NBI’s help against Lojuco who was arrested upon receiving the initial payment of P100,000 in marked money.

Following the arrest, all three suspects were brought Friday night to the Department of Justice (DOJ) for inquest before Associate Prosecutor Attorney Mary Grace Arboladura.

The three are facing charges for violation Republic Act No. 3019, the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act; direct bribery; and robbery extortion.