Ombudsman, NLRC officials caught in extort try

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A senior graft investigator of the Office of the Ombudsman and his cousin labor arbiter were arrested in an entrapment operation on July 20 in Lingayen, Pangasinan.

National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Director Dante Gierran on Saturday presented to the media Leonardo Nicolas, senior graft investigator in the Office of the Ombudsman, and his cousin Isagani Nicolas, a labor arbiter of the National Labor Relations Commission, who were arrested after receiving money they demanded from Rep. Amado Espino of Pangasinan and his son Mayor Jumel Espino of Bugallon.

Ombudsman Internal Affairs chief Gerard Mosqueda, also deputy Ombudsman for Luzon, said the two face charges for allegedly violating Section 7(d) in relation to Section 11 of Republic Act 6713 of “The Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.” The two charged for allegedly violating Article 210 of the Revised Penal Code (direct bribery) and Article 293 of the same law (robbery extortion).

The Nicolas cousins refused to give any statement before the media. They were assured that their rights as accused will be respected. The case is bailable, according to Mosquera.


Mosquera said the Nicolas cousins met with Jumel Espino and a certain Geraldine Baniqued, and demanded that their graft charges would be settled in exchange for P1.35 million covering nine allegations of corruption. However, in another meeting last July 14, the cousins demanded P1 million per case involving Rep. Espino.

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