AN embattled assistant state prosecutor of the Department of Justice finally walked out of National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) after he was caught and detained over bribery allegations.
Prosecutor Diosdado Solidum Jr. finally posted his P60,000 bail at the Sandiganbayan days after the NBI entrapped and arrested him after receiving marked money which was supposedly the P2.5-million he requested in exchange for a favorable resolution for the complainants.
Assisted by his lawyer Mel Arboladura, Solidum refused to comment on his case after he posted bail before noon on Wednesday at the Sandiganbayan.
Solidum tried to post bail on Tuesday, however, lack of documents hampered his posting for provisional liberty.
He will face trial for his charges of bribery and violations of ethical standard for allegedly mulcting P2.5 million from employees of Philippine Airlines (PAL).
In a one-page order of Presiding Justice Gregory Ong, the Sandiganbayan approved the bail of Solidum and ordered the NBI “to immediately release him” after the accused presented himself before the Fourth Division.
However, Ong declared as moot and academic Solidum’s motion for special raffle as he already posted bail. The justice simply ordered the docket division to include his two-count criminal charges in the regular raffle slated on Friday.
By procedure, when a case has not been raffled off, the division of the presiding justice, in this case the Fourth Division, will entertain bail procedure. Orders and bail-related documents will be forwarded to the division where the case will be raffled.
Solidum’s case stemmed from the complaint of the PAL employees association (Palea). Gerardo Rivera, the main complainant and representative of Palea and his lawyer Joeven Dellosa, complained that Solidum tried to extort them of P10,000 for each respondent in the case or a total of P2.5 million to overturn a resolution of the Pasay City Prosecutor’s Office.
The case was raffled to Solidum after the Palea asked a review before the Justice department. The indicted prosecutor then requested an audience before Rivera and Dellosa where the prosecutor allegedly tried to bribe the complainant in exchange for a supposed favorable decision for Palea union members.
The Office of the Ombudsman said that Solidum asked for P2.5 million but lowered it to P1.2 million.
On August 8, the NBI conducted an entrapment operation in Spring Deer Restaurant on Timog Avenue where Solidum was arrested after receiving an envelope of money with P3,000 in it and the rest being “boodle money.”
The inquest officers of the NBI proceeded with the indictment after Solidum declined to avail of a preliminary investigation.
The Ombudsman approved the NBI’s findings and slapped the public prosecutor with bribery charges now filed before the Sandiganbayan.