Muntinlupa City employee, ‘accomplice’ arrested by NBI for ‘extortion, swindling’

Published June 1, 2021, 5:09 PM

by Jeffrey Damicog

National Bureau of Investigation

A Muntinlupa City employee and his alleged accomplice have been arrested by agents of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) for reportedly extorting money and swindling a person who was applying for city permits.

NBI Officer-in-Charge Director Eric B. Distor identified the two arrested suspects as Tessie Cortez Alvarez and James Villafranca Magan, an employee of the Office of the City Engineer and Building Official of Muntinlupa City.

The NBI said the suspects were arrested during an entrapment operation conducted last Friday, May 28, by the NBI’s International Airport Investigation Division (NBI-IAID).

Alvarez and Magan have been charged with estafa, a crime under the Revised Penal Code, before the Muntinlupa City Prosecutor’s Office.

The NBI said Magan was also charged with violating Republic Act No. 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act as well as for violating RA 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.

The NBI said the entrapment operation was conducted based on a complaint filed against Alvarez.

“Complainant alleged that he hired the services of the subject for the processing of Fencing Permit and other permits allegedly required for the installation of Maynilad water such as Excavation Permit, and Meralco for Electrical Wiring Permit in his residence in Tunasan, Muntinlupa,” the NBI said.

“In their agreement, Subject Alvarez would process the above-mentioned permits for two weeks as long as payment of P43,500 would be given immediately to her. She further disclosed that she has a contact inside the Engineering Office of Muntinlupa City Hall,” it said.

It said the complainant decided to seek the help of the NBI after Alvarez claimed that Magan demanded an additional P15,000 for the release of the documents despite the payment of P43,500.